Excellent news for Costa Coffee Malta


Excellent news for Costa Coffee Malta: Miller Lozada Motta, Malta’s Barista, clinched the prestigious title of European Barista of the Year, crowning him European Champion. Soon, he will represent Europe at the Global Finals in London this July, where he will compete with the world’s finest Baristas from various parts of the world, such as the UK, China, and the USA.

Miller Lozada Motta. European Barista of the Year

Twenty-one-year-old Miller joined Costa Malta in June 2022. It was his first employment in Malta, so one can say it was a bull’s eye choice. Why did he choose this job as a Barista? “This work is more than just preparing coffee. It is serving a little bit of history in a small cup. My personal history also comes rooted in coffee since many of my family are coffee farmers and I grew up in Bogota`, seeing the beautiful process of growing and harvesting this delicious fruit.

But what made Miller join Costa Coffee? Miller did not bat an eyelid before answering: “Because of Costa’s history! I like the idea of entrepreneurship and I love stories where a small idea grows and blooms into such an impressive result. Costa Coffee is a success story. But I also joined because of its great team since, in this place, experienced and knowledgeable colleagues join hands  to help you become the best at what you do.”

Miller is proud of his origins: “My family is very numerous. I deeply appreciate all those who support me in every adventure, but mainly I owe everything to my mother because she is the one who formed my character and supported me in all of my dreams.

Miller considers himself very competitive and ready to face challenges where he can give more of himself and thus improve his personality and capabilities. “In the end, everything has a solution. I train and persevere until I achieve a good result. But I must add that I also like to joke and laugh at things that often happen to us instead of getting stressed about every mishap that crops up. I try to look at the funny side of situations.”

Miller enjoying work

It’s not such a straightforward thing to become a barista with Costa Coffee. The HR Manager first interviews applicants, and if selected, they will then undergo an induction session to understand Costa’s business, values and the dynamics of the company in general. They will also be shown around the store and briefed on what they might expect once they are in their given store location. Being a franchise, every Costa colleague must know standard operating procedures, so they are then trained how to serve Costa customers, how drinks and food are prepared and how to take good care of the store.

New entrants receive coffee preparation training during their initial 30 working hours to become Baristas. They are then coached and monitored throughout their shifts to ensure they achieve and retain Costa’s high-quality standards.

With European contestants

Returning to the Barista of the Year Awards, how is the winning Barista voted for and chosen? Any Barista may join the competition. The Baristas are assessed on different tasks, which may vary slightly from year to year. This year, during the European Champion competition, the Baristas needed to prepare four drinks within five minutes without knowing beforehand what the drinks were. In addition, the Barista had to present two iced versions of their own creative, non-alcoholic speciality drink, which had to be coffee-based, using Costa’s Mocha Italia blend. 

What was Miller’s choice? Barista Miller proudly informed us he created ‘Coffeenela’, which has tea and cinnamon infused oat milk, coffee and a special ingredient from Miller’s country, panela, which adds an extra sweet kick to the combination. 

Is the competing Barista solely examined on his coffee-making skill, or is he also examined on other aspects, such as personal drive with customers? Miller informed us that apart from coffee skills, the competing Baristas are examined on various other points, such as the way they present themselves, how clean and organised they keep their coffee station whilst making the coffees, their knowledge of the coffees themselves as they would need to explain what they are doing and why, and also their personality. All Baristas must ensure their personality shines through, which is part of Costa customers’ coffee experience.

So, that must have been a beaming personal success for Miller! Young Miller was still ecstatic about the award. Still, he was quick to add: “ I would say that other than the award, the participation also means a lot not just for the winner but for all the participating Baristas as they get to showcase their skills, passion and creativity at the same time whilst also meeting other Baristas. Yes, naturally, by the winning I have received a glowing exposure on various local media on winning the European Champion title. Now I look forward to the Global Final in July in London, where I will do my very best as European Champion to win the World Championship and so highlight Costa Malta worldwide.”