A Kenyan has been ranked among the top 5 best baristas at World Coffee Championship

Martin Shabaya is the best not only in Kenya but also Africa.

Shabaya is a four time Kenya National Barista Championship winner; having won the title in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2020. He is currently the defending champion of the Africa Barista Championship.

Kenya’s best barista Martin Shabaya finished fifth at the 2021 World Barista Championship (WBC) that took place in Milan on Tuesday, October 26.

Shabaya dedicated the fifth place trophy to everyone who was there to offer help and guidance when he truly needed it the most.

"I truly appreciate each and everyone of you who has been part of this long but worthwhile journey! This trophy belongs to you… the full chain, from all the farmers," Shabaya posted on his Instagram.

Shabaya is not new to accolades, he is a four time Kenya National Barista Championship winner; having won the title in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2020. He is currently the defending champion of the Africa Barista Championship.

About the championship

The events, coordinated by the Specialty Coffee Association‘s World Coffee Events (WCE) group, took place in conjunction with the HOSTMilano coffee and hospitality and trade show.

All three of the world championship events were put on hold in 2020 due to event cancellations tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of the three competitions took place in front of an in-person crowd in Milan, while streaming in real-time all over the world.

The competition focuses on promoting excellence in coffee, advancing the barista profession, and engaging a worldwide audience with an annual championship event that serves as the culmination of local and regional events around the globe.

Each year, more than 50 champion competitors each prepare 4 espressos, 4 milk drinks, and 4 original signature drinks to exacting standards in a 15-minute performance set to music.

WCE certified judges from around the world evaluate each performance on the taste of beverages served, cleanliness, creativity, technical skill, and overall presentation.

The ever-popular signature beverage allows baristas to stretch their imagination and the judges’ palates to incorporate a wealth of coffee knowledge into an expression of their individual tastes and experiences.

The top 15 highest-scoring competitors from the first round, plus wild-card winner from the Team Competition, advance to a semifinal round.

The top 6 competitors in the semifinal round advance to the finals round, from which one winner is named World Barista Champion!

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