East London worker named the ‘Best Barista of the Year’

Szabina Szalma won the national competition. Picture: Waitrose

Szabina Szalma won the national competition. Picture: Waitrose - Credit: Archant

Fancy a cup of coffee served by the best barista at a Waitrose branch in the UK?

Then you need to head to Canary Wharf as that's where Szabina Azalma, who lives in East Ham, works.

Szabina beat off fierce competition from more than 250 colleagues across Waitrose to be crowned the company's Barista of the Year 2019.

Participants showed off their coffee making skills in three different rounds by making hot drinks such as cappuccinos, lattes and flat whites. Szabina can now enjoy a cup of Italian latte during an all expenses paid-for trip to Milan and tickets to Milan Coffee Festival that comes with the accolade.

She said: "I feel fantastic - I really wasn't expecting to win because of just how good everyone was. My colleagues were supportive throughout the competition and my regular customers were rooting for me all the way. I love making coffee because it means I can use my artistic side so working in the cafe is a great job for me."

Simon Burdess, director of food service and hospitality at Waitrose, added: "Szabina is a brilliant example of how our passionate partners (staff) can make a customer's day through a well-crafted and expertly served coffee experience."