De'Longhi Barista Partner Wins Championship
Laila Ghambari, center, with fellow competitors Phil Beattie and Emilio Lopez Diaz
UPPER SADDLE RIVER, N.J.-Laila Ghambari, director of coffee at Seattle's Cherry Street Coffee House and partner barista with De'Longhi, has been named 2014 United States Barista Champion by the Specialty Coffee Association of America.
The association's competition, which took place from April 24-27, scored baristas on a range of qualities from flavor to foam for a multitude of coffee-based drinks. The participants made espresso, cappuccino and one signature drink. For Ghambari, that signature drink included espresso grown on the grounds of El Manzano in El Salvador, combined with coffee cherry jam and coffee flower blossom honey infused with smoke from coffee-tree wood.
Praising her victory, Mike Prager, De'Longhi Group NA president and CEO, called Ghambari "such an integral part of the De'Longhi team, serving as an ambassador for our brand and espresso market educator for our partners and consumers."
Ghambari is a member of the Executive Council of the Barista Guild of America. She will represent the United States at the World Barista Championship in Rimini, Italy, scheduled for June 9-12.