Organisers announce plans to level playing field for talented baristas at UAE Barista & Latte Art Championships

International Coffee & Tea Festival 2013 to showcase world-class skills of local baristas

July 21, 2013
A UAE Barista Championship finalist explains a bit about his coffee to the judges at the International Coffee & Tea Festival 2012, Dubai, UAEIC&E, organiser of the International Coffee & Tea Festival, the only dedicated trade event for the coffee and tea industry in the Arab world, has announced marked down fee for low-paid baristas who are interested in competing at the upcoming 2013 UAE Barista & Latte Art Championships but are short on finances.
Being a completely mission-driven initiative, the UAE Barista & Latte Art Championships are an entirely not-for-profit feature of the International Coffee & Tea Festival, with proceeds from contestant registration fees funded back into set-up costs. Registration fees are meant to ensure the Championships take place on the highest standards and to fly in judges from various different countries to be on the judging panel.
The UAE Barista & Latte Art Championships are highly anticipated events within the annual International Coffee & Tea Festival, the upcoming edition of which will run from October 8 to 11, 2013, at the Meydan Grandstand and Convention Centre in Dubai. The competitions are recognized and endorsed by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and World Coffee Events. World Coffee Events Certified Guest Judges from around the world assess the performance of contestants based on structured criteria such as taste, cleanliness, technical skill and overall presentation.
IC&E explains that while the Championships have generated great interest among UAE’s baristas, many cash-strapped professionals are unable to compete. The entry fee is now subsidized and the structure helps create a fair playing field for deserving baristas to showcase their exceptional skills.
Ryan Godinho, Event Director of the International Coffee & Tea Festival states, “We as organisers empathize with the difficulties low-paid Baristas are faced with and would like to acknowledge their talent at an equal and non-discriminatory platform, by offering them this opportunity. A recent international survey conducted reveals that UAE baristas are second from last out of 14 of the world’s most cosmopolitan countries that boast an active café culture.  The survey reveals that UAE-based baristas earn an average of US$880 a month as opposed to Norway where the average barista earns US$3,585 a month and Australia where a head barista earns an average of US$4,220 a month.  This trend has a direct correlation to the social standing, quality and diversity of the café industry in these top two countries, with Australia taking the lead in offering the most refined and thriving café culture.”
The Championships are also an important stepping stone for Baristas to prove their skills and grow further within their profession as well as to gain valuable international exposure. This experience in the world of specialty coffee should also be harvested as an unprecedented skill building exercise for baristas and their employers. This, in turn, would be the driving force behind the development of a more specialist and higher quality café culture within the UAE. “This year’s National Barista & Latte Art Championships will reveal even more promising individuals now that we have adjusted our registration scheme. We are excited to pave the way for better opportunities and a brighter future for local baristas. Moreover, a more competitive field will give the UAE a better shot at making a strong mark at the World Barista Championships where the country’s entry this year placed among the top 30,” said Ryan Godinho, National UAE Coordinator for World Coffee Events.
Further information on the upcoming Championships and Barista entry processes is available at

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