A BARISTA from Winnersh has made it through to the finals of a coffee crafting competition.

Matthew Coddington, who works for gather & Gather in Winnersh Triangle, has secured a place in the company's national Barista of the Year competition, which celebrates employees who demonstrate exceptional expertise and skill in creating the perfect beverage.

Matthew, who has worked in the coffee industry for 10 years, was selected from more than 400 baristas across the UK and Ireland who competed in regional heats before making it through to the final eight.

Finalists of the competition, which is being held in London this week, will go head-to-head to create a total of six beverages including two espressos, two milk-based drinks such as a cappuccino or latte, and two signature drinks, all in under 10 minutes. The creations will be judged by a panel of experts who will mark submissions on their level of skill, appearance and taste, as well as the barista's serving skills.

The winner of the competition will win a trip to La Marzocco’s coffee machine factory in Florence, Italy.

Allister Richards, Managing Director of Gather & Gather, said: “The standard of skills and expertise has been phenomenal as our baristas prove they have what it takes to win the prestigious title Barista of the Year 2018. Coffee is integral to our business and we are constantly working to ensure we provide the best experience for our customers. It looks like this year will be a close competition and I look forward to seeing Matthew in action.”