Jade Jennings, Australia’s best female barista

After six months of rigorous training, more than 5,000 coffee tastings and countless hours spent behind the machine, Veneziano Coffee Roasters is proud to announce Veneziano Training and Development Manager, Jade Jennings, as Australia’s top female barista.

After taking out first place in the Southern Region Championships in January, Jade went up against state barista champions from across the nation on March 19, to compete for the title of Australian Barista Champion.

The Victorian Champion, Jade came a close second in the National Championships,  just 13 points behind competition winner, Hugh Kelly of Ona Coffee in Canberra.  Matthew Lewin of Axil Coffee Roasters placed third in the competition held at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE).

Run by the Australian Specialty Coffee Association (ASCA), the Barista Championship sees each competitor give a 15-minute performance, demonstrating their coffee knowledge and barista skills in creating a classic espresso, a cappuccino and a signature coffee of their own invention.

Jade sourced the coffee she featured directly from a farm in Rwanda, run by Epiphanie Mukashyaka.

“Epiphanie is an incredibly strong, determined woman who is paving the way for other females to become industry leaders. Epiphanie rose from devastation to take on and then revolutionize her husband’s business; moving from commodity to specialty coffee, to become one of the region’s best specialty coffees producers” said Jade.

“Hearing Epiphanie’s story is extremely empowering and makes me so proud to be part of the specialty coffee industry” continued Jade.

Technical detail

Jade presented the following to four sensory judges, two technical judges and one head judge, receiving a total of 611 points.

  • 4 x espressos
  • 4 x 5oz flat whites*
  • 4 x signatures drinks

*Jade chose a flat white for her second coffee flight because she believed it was the best milk representation of her coffee.

Jade will now return to her role as Training and Development Manager of Veneziano Coffee Roasters where she leads the training school.