When Theresa Morrison pours you a coffee, chances are it’ll be pretty good.
The Red Deer barista, who plies her skills at the Second Cup store in Bower Place Shopping Centre, won Second Cup’s Western Canada Regional Barista Competition earlier this month in Calgary. The 20-year-old impressed a panel of four judges with a pair of espressos, two lattes and two flavoured lattes, earning her a spot in next year’s national championship.
With some 300 people looking on, Morrison had to produce the requested beverages, providing a verbal description as she worked against the clock. When the steam cleared, she’d out-scored two other finalists who had been selected from qualifiers across Western Canada.
“I was very nervous.”
In addition to satisfying Second Cup’s technical requirements for each drink, Morrison poured them with Second Cup’s signature heart-shaped topping — a touch she perfected during her half-dozen years in the trade.
“It was probably one of the reasons that I won.”
Morrison qualified for Second Cup’s Western Canada Regional Barista Competition a few weeks earlier, with a pair of judges testing her in Red Deer. She was asked to create a cappuccino, latte, caramel corretto, mocha and hot chocolate, and was evaluated on her product knowledge as well as her brewing skills.
The location of the national final, which will pit Morrison and next year’s Western Canada champion against their counterparts from the east, has yet to be announced. The winner will win a trip to one of Second Cup’s partner coffee-farms in Costa Rica.
Morrison is optimistic, and plans to practice hard until then.
Hers expert touch around a coffee mug has a lot to do with the fact her father, Ross Morrison, owns both of the Second Cup franchises in Red Deer.
“I pretty much grew up in the business,” she said, describing how she started helping out when she was 14 and has been on the job full time for the past three years.
The key to being a good barista is consistency, said Morrison.
When she’s pours a drink for herself, she prefers a cooler option.
“I love the iced caramel corretto.”