Meet Steve O’Key from Trove in Manchester, our La Marzocco Barista Hero Winner in the North!!

We spoke to Steve following his win to ask what it was about coffee that he loved so much and what inspired him to be such an incredible barista in his local community:

“With coffee, there’s always more to learn. You’re always aiming for a better espresso, a better recipe, a better flavour, but above all a better experience for the person you’re making it for. Because for me being a barista is about looking after people. It’s not about milk doodles or making money or about you at all – it’s about community. It’s about all the people in the process from crop to cup, it’s about the team around you and the customers you serve and it’s about the people they meet and talk to and share ideas with and create things with. It can be a beautiful thing.”

We couldn’t have put it any better ourselves! A huge congratulations to Steve, a worthy winner and a much-appreciated part of his local coffee community!

Here is just a snippet of some of the amazing nominations that Steve received:

“Steve is the absolute certified beverage king of south Manchester. Not only does he produce the most fantastic heart warming coffees known to man, he also is responsible for the most fantastic exciting seasonal drinks at trove. He loves wine, cordials, cocktails, and coffee, always incorporating the latter into his drink ideas. As well as his ‘espresso brandy Alexander’ making waves within the community, he also is a wonderful pillar of light in levenshulme. He is always there to offer a kind word, friendly face, and day-saving cappuccino. This man has time for everyone and will always give you his best. In summary- Steve is innovative, caring, intensely skilful, and cares about fantastic standards above anything else.”

and here’s another:

Not only does Steve make the best coffee in South Manchester, he also stands out as a shining beacon of loveliness in whichever community he is a part of. Steve is always there for anyone who wants to chat, talk, teach, ask questions, and learn, all while crafting the best flat white or nattiest batch this side of the Mersey. Steve has been key in training younger team members with patience and consideration, and is always willing to share his skills and knowledge with the team, other teams, or people who walk through the door. Coffee connoisseur, engineer, electrician, and plumber rolled into one, Steve is always striving to learn, grow, and develop. He is definitely the barista hero of anyone he makes a coffee for, and I’m sure winning the title would help solidify his confidence as a hugely important part of our community, and maybe help him on the way to opening his own cafe.”


A huge well-done to all our nominees and runners up! Our Barista Hero initative will be travelling with our Roadshow into the new year where we will be visitng Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the South West. Keep your eyes peeled on our Instagram page to find out where we will be going next!