Haskins Garden Centres’ Michaela Wilson took third place in Costa Coffee’s Global Barista of the Year competition.
Wilson, who works in Haskins’ West End centre in Southampton, was said to have “impressed the judging panel of coffee experts with her technical prowess and uniquely curated speciality drink, ‘Autumn Walks’, a delightful pumpkin-spiced coffee drink forged from fond memories of her childhood.”
The international competition final was a two-day event at the end of April, comprised of a behind-closed-doors technical coffee-making challenge, with the second day open to a live audience, focusing on creativity and customer service skills.
After a UK final featuring 20 of the top baristas nationally, three progressed to a world final of six international entrants. Wilson took third in a competition featuring entries from Qatar, China, the Middle East and Europe. She was the highest-ranking finalist from the United Kingdom.
Wilson said, “The final was massively nerve-wracking but went well. The speciality drink element of the competition is one area where I don’t think I could have done anything differently.
“Being able to represent Haskins at such a prestigious event was a brilliant opportunity, and I am grateful for the support from my West End centre team, which has enabled me to develop as a coffee expert in my time with the company. It was a fantastic experience to have and one that I will be proud of and remember for many years to come.”
Haskins, which has been a partner of Costa for over 14 years, claims to be the only garden centre in the UK that serves Costa Coffee within its restaurants.