Two baristas from BP Bay View Wild Bean Café in Napier headed to Auckland last week to compete in BP Barista of the Year.

Although they didn't take out the winning spot, Anita Bothwell and Mel Morris said it was an experience that they wouldn't forget anytime soon.

"It was such an awesome opportunity to compete with our peers and represent our region. It was interesting to see what techniques everyone used. A lot of people brought their own equipment, something I had never thought to do, so next year I will make sure to pack my own equipment that I am familiar with using.

"Overall I was happy with my performance and can't wait to compete again next year," Bothwell said.


They were joined at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland by 26 other talented baristas from around the country, after coming top in their region in October.

Bothwell , 25, competed in BP's Barista of the Year for the third year running, with a goal to win BP's Supreme Barista title. This year was the first that she's become a finalist for the national competition, a huge personal achievement.

Bothwell said she loves making coffee and has been working with BP for three years after being head-hunted from a previous position at retailer Farmers.

Morris, 29, was the other national finalist for this year's BP Barista of the Year competition.

This was her first year competing for the Rookie Barista title.

Mel Morris.
Mel Morris.

Morris said she didn't expect to come this far, as she only managed to squeeze in time at the coffee machine for about half an hour each day - most of her time is usually focused on store management tasks.

The girls said they're both coffee drinkers and know a good cuppa when they see one.

"As we both work behind the scenes we don't always get the chance to get on the coffee machine but when we do we love the interaction with the customers and the satisfaction of a giving out a beautifully poured coffee. Also the look of a perfect coffee shot is super satisfying," Morris said.