In our search for the South East La Marzocco Barista Hero 2021, we’ve heard some heartwarming and truly emotional sentiments about everything that our local baristas have achieved and how they’ve become an invaluable part of the local community in the last few years! To celebrate our South East baristas, we’re wanting to award someone with £1,000, and then four runners up with £100 each. All you need to do is choose who you think the deserving barista is here and spread the word!

We will be announcing the winner at our Friday Night Throwdown on the 24th September as part of London Coffee Festival (we still have a few spaces left for the throwdown so if you’d like to throw your hat into the ring and win some sweet prizes and the title of throw down champion, email: to secure your space).

We’ve narrowed down our submissions based on sentiments and number of entries and so, in alphabetical order, here are our final 10:

Alex Bean from Escape Arts in Tonbridge

Alex has a real attention to detail and his surrounding, he is attentive with customers, makes the experience of returning time after time a fun and cheerful experience.

David Leaper from 65mm Coffee in Tonbridge

Because Dave is amazing, has just become a father to two, runs his business with his wife Jade (who is also a hero) and also works at Cast Iron Coffee roasters, WHAT A MAN! he does a lot for the coffee industry, and keeps the hipster-barista-stuck-up-their-arse vibe at bay, by being a genuinely nice guy who is passionate about his product. THAT IS A HERO

Elise Carter from Union Yoga Café in Ramsgate

Elise as been delivering amazing coffees always with a smile since the cafe opened a few month ago. Elise personality , positivity and care for delivering the perfect drink is so welcome after being in lockdown!!

Emek Karakus from Dharma Coffee in Hove

“Emek and Dharma have been great additions to the neighborhood in the past 18 months. A bright spot in a crazy time. It’s amazing to have such a knowledgeable and friendly barista who stocks some incredible roasters on the retail shelves, allowing lots of us to travel across Europe with the coffees we drink”

Emma Wilkinson from Sheer Pink on the Isle of Wight

“Emma has been training and working as a barista for as long as I have know her, and now she brings her knowledge and coffee expertise to the Isle of Wight, during a time where people should be more open and explorative with their coffee choices. Emma is providing a much needed showcase of specialist coffee on the Isle of Wight, and has created a coffee shop / bar that is different to anything else on the island, with the sole purpose to provide specialist coffee in a relaxing and beautiful environment.”

Olivia Walsh from Fringe and Ginge in Canterbury

I am nominating Olivia as she is always friendly and has a smile on her face ( even if you can’t see it under her mask!!!) I used to get my coffee from her when she was a Batista in london and now great to see her running her own café!

Joel Rivers from Driink in Chelmsford

Joel makes amazing coffee provides great customer service. He’ll go out of his way to provide advice to customers on their coffee machines

Joey Massarella from Another Brother in Putney

I go in regularly and i am always greeted with a smile and good chat. they have a passion and extensive knowledge of coffee. and it always tastes great. He trains the staff runs the cafe and does it all with a smile

Marta from Forts Cafe in Margate

“Marta is a true gem of the barista community, she’s always willing to get involved in competitions, network at local events, and learn more about coffee from all those she meets along the way. Coffee is definitely her passion and she’s so willing to share her passion with everyone, she’s such a lovely person and will always put a smile on your face with her enthusiasm!”

Matt Watts from the Storeroom in Margate

Matt joined us at our cafe Storeroom just over a year ago and quickly became an indispensable part of the team. Not only does he genuinely love coffee and takes loads of pride in making it to the best possible standard, he is a delight to work with and his positive attitude and friendly open-minded nature are undoubtedly a big part of why our regulars love coming back. If you’ve been to our cafe, chances are Matt will remember what coffee you like and what the name of your dog is. Everybody loves Matt and he’s definitely our barista hero.


You can also still get your London Coffee Festival tickets here