MUSCAT: A Costa Coffee Oman barista has been recognised as one of the most-skilled coffee makers in MENA after winning Costa Coffee’s Barista of the Year MENA Final 2015.

Aubrhey Rosales showed off his flair and passion for coffee, by creating a full-range of hand-crafted coffee based drinks including the Flat White and his own speciality drink to wow the judges and win the final. He will now be flown to London to compete in the prestigious Champion of Champion Finals in January 2016, in a bid to be crowned the best Costa Coffee Barista in the world.

The 24 year old Barista from the Philippines who has worked for Costa for the past one year, not only demonstrated his coffee making skills by hand-crafting a variety of coffees to Costa brand standard but he also created his own drink – the Espresso Gassata.

Inspired by his enthusiasm and love for innovating coffee to take the crafting coffee into the next level, Rosales created a mango flavoured carbonated coffee with a twist of spicy aftertaste and used cascara as a bridge to connect the coffee and fruity sweetness of mango creating a pleasant tingling sensation on the tongue.

The Oman Barista said of his regional triumph, “Winning the MENA Barista of the Year 2015 was an overwhelming joy. Costa Coffee Oman was very eager to get a spot on the regional championship. High expectations led to high pressure to win.

“Winning the MENA Barista of the Year together with the Best Speciality Drink was more than what I had hoped for and I am very grateful. I really believed in my speciality drink due to the unique aspect of it being a carbonated coffee, which was not something that had been done before, and served in a bottle which was sealed with a crown right on the spot.

“I am looking forward to the next stage in London. I am so excited to meet my competitors from different regions and specially meeting Mr Gennaro Pellicia. The moment I step foot in London I consider myself as a winner as I will have won the experience to be at the Costa Coffee Roastery where it all began. The Road to London is life changing. I have only two goals now and they are to make my family proud and to carve my name on the Champion of Champions Trophy.”

Tom Edgar, head of franchise Costa Coffee MENA said, “We have approximately 2,300 baristas in the MENA region, working across more than 342 stores, so for Aubrhey Rosales to be crowned the best in MENA is a huge achievement and something he should feel incredibly proud of. I can’t wait to be joining Aubrhey Rosales in London, England, the home of Costa Coffee, to see if he can be named the best Costa Coffee barista in the world”.

The Champion of Champions Final will be held at Tobacco Dock in London on January 20, 2016, marking the tenth anniversary of the prestigious competition. If Aubrhey Rosales is crowned the champion he will win a ten-day trip for two with spending money to a country of his choice with a Costa connection, in addition to worldwide praise from the staff in Costa’s 3,100 global stores. Previous winners of the competition have since gone on to undertake roles across the Costa business.