Shingle Inn Baristas take on National Coffee Chains

A team of four motivated Brisbane Baristas will be representing national franchise, Shingle Inn, at the upcoming DaVinci Gourmet Australian Coffee Chain Championships, taking place in Sydney from 3-5 September.

The four baristas, including one from the Sunshine Coast, two from North Lakes and one from Garden City (Mount Gravatt), will be taking on a number of Barista teams from other high profile national coffee chains, including McCafe and The Coffee Club.  

According to Andrew Bellchambers, Director of Shingle Inn, he was delighted that a team from Shingle Inn had qualified for the prestigious competition.

“For us, it made sense that the team of Baristas selected were all based in the same location so that they could regularly come together and practise the rounds prior to the competition – making sure they could work together as a team to really showcase their skills,” he said.

“However, it also happened to be the case that three of the Baristas who competed in the Shingle Inn National Barista of the Year competition all were from Brisbane, and we also asked one of our incredibly capable and talented Shingle Inn franchisees to join the team.”

Whilst Shingle Inn has expanded to 50 stores nationally, the franchise has its roots in Brisbane, with the first café originally opened on Edward Street in the Autumn of 1936.  Now into its 79 year history, the café has only been owned by two families, ensuring continuity of product, tradition and family culture that has survived multiple generations.

Mr Bellchambers said that the DaVinci Gourmet Australian Coffee Chain Championships provided an exciting opportunity for Shingle Inn’s outstanding baristas to showcase their professionalism and expertise, while they complete the three competition rounds under pressure and in front of a large audience. 

The three rounds include the Latte Art round, where patterns are randomly selected to be replicated, the Seasonal Beverage round (where the team creates and presents a ‘signature drink.’) and the final round that focuses on Service Time, where the teams have to prepare 20 drinks in just 10 minutes.

Michaela Gerard, QLD Training Manager of Grinders Coffee, has been working with the team by way of three hour training sessions, for five weeks prior to the Championships.

“Based on Shingle Inn’s normal operational practises, we have created a really smooth workflow and brought the drink service time for 20 drinks right down, whilst still maintaining top level presentation standards.”

The team includes:

              Alex Groves, an 18-year-old barista and Supervisor at Shingle Inn Garden City Level 2, who recently won the coveted Shingle Inn National Barista of the Year Award; taking out the title from among Shingle Inn Barista State finalists.

              Amy Telfer, a 24-year-old barista at Shingle Inn North Lakes, has been creating the perfect cuppa for three years now, since the store first opened, mastering her technique to ensure each coffee achieves a completely satisfied customer. 

              Lara Zhang, the successful franchisee (together with husband Lucas) of Shingle Inn North Lakes. She is a natural behind the coffee machine.

              Rachelle Garland, a 23-year-old barista at Shingle Inn Sunshine Plaza, (Maroochydore) has been creating the perfect cuppa for four years now and has been a finalist in the Shingle Inn Barista State finalists multiple times.

According to Mr Bellchambers, barista competitions like this one are the result of a rapidly evolving and more competitive coffee industry, as customers become more educated about quality coffee.

“It is obviously no longer acceptable to produce an average cup of coffee. Anyone who is making coffee in a café will require the highest standard of ongoing training; otherwise they will be left behind in the industry.”

Grinders worked with Shingle Inn to create the signature Shingle Inn Espresso Blend, which is characterised by a distinct apricot/stone fruit flavour which blends well with milk to produce a memorable Shingle Inn experience.