The battle of McDonalds’ best coffee makers in the central North Island was held in Tokoroa on October 23.
Representatives from seven different areas including Napier, Hastings, Taupo / Tokoroa, Te Puke, Gisbourne, Tauranga, Rotorua and Whanganui converged on the popular Swanson St fast food franchise to find the best barista.
Each contender had to make six coffees in 20 minutes while being judged by John Kim and Jamey Stephens on every aspect from preparation and technique to clean up.
This is the first time Tokoroa has hosted the regional competition and franchise owner Eileen Byrne said it was an honour.
She said Tokoroa’s top barista Zia Reweti missed out on representing this region by one point.
The day was filled with stiff competition but it was Justin Baek from Rotorua who came first.
Justin began his career as a barista at McDonalds 21⁄ years ago and was ranked 15th at
2 the New Zealand Barista Competition last year.
Judging coffee: Competitor Justin Baek, centre, is preparing to make some exquisite coffee while judges Jamey Stephens, back, and John Kim watch.