The Global Coffee Festival is launching a plant-based barista competition

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The inaugural Global Coffee Festival, running virtually on October 30, has introduced a new plant-based barista competition.

The Global Coffee Festival, an amalgamation of the various city-based coffee festivals around the world, has introduced Plant-Based Barista Masters, a new competition fusing coffee and vegan beverages.

Taking place virtually, the festival is partnering with vegan giant Alpro to launch the new event, where baristas will showcase their plant-based drink creations. They’ll be using Alpro’s Barista editions of oat, soy and almond milk to create the unique drinks.

In a statement on its website, the Global Coffee Festival says: “Plant-Based Barista Masters is the perfect platform to highlight the versatility and quality of plant-based beverages, as well as barista skill and creativity.”

The competition sees four baristas facing a timed challenged to win the Plant-Based Barista Masters and the chance to have their creation named as the Global Coffee Festival 2020’s official signature drink.

It’s a pre-recorded event. Applications for the event closed on September 25, with the four contenders invited in a studio on October 9. The baristas created a plant-based coffee drink using their own choice of coffee and a mystery box of ingredients on the spot. “The drinks will be evaluated on taste, creativity and presentation and the winning beverage will be coined the official signature drink of The Global Coffee Festival 2020.”

Apart from the Plant-Based Barista Masters, the coffee festival is hosting a range of vegan-centric demonstrations. Alpro CEO Sue Garfitt will be interviewed about coffee and sustainability, and how beneficial a plant-based lifestyle may be. There’s also a Plant-Based Barista Masterclass, where Merijn Gijsbers, the 2017 Dutch Barista Champion, will share his vegan barista tips with James Wise from Assembly Coffee.

Another competition focused solely on vegan coffee is the Global Plant-Based Latte Art Throwdown. Baristas around the world will compete in a latte art competition with plant-based milk, which is usually deemed harder to create art with than regular dairy.

On October 31, there are two fringe events. Coffee writer and The Kore Directive founder Sierra Yeo competes with baristas on plant-based skills as she goes on a coffee tour of Singapore. A roundtable discussion sponsored by plant-based milk brand Silk is also on the schedule, with Canadian baristas discussing sustainability, Covid-19 and virtual interaction.

The Global Coffee Festival takes place on Friday, October 30, with fringe events over the weekend. The tickets are free and the event can be streamed live.

Anay Mridul
Anay Mridul
Anay is journalism graduate from City, University of London, he was a barista for three years, and never shuts up about coffee. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford Comma. Originally from India, he went vegan in 2020, after attempting (and failing) Veganuary. He believes being environmentally conscious is a basic responsibility, and veganism is the best thing you can do to battle climate change. He gets lost at Whole Foods sometimes.