'The atmosphere was electric': Moncton barista wins seat in national coffee competition

A Moncton barista recently got to show off his coffee expertise at a qualifying event in Toronto.

Conor Conway finished in sixth place and will represent New Brunswick at the National Barista Championship in Vancouver in August.

The owner of Epoch Chemistry Coffee House in Moncton competed in the espresso, milk beverage and signature beverage categories for a panel of judges and had to serve 12 beverages in 15 minutes.

“The atmosphere was electric. It was at the Restaurant Canada Show and it was a very hype event,” says Conway.

“It was a lot of fun to prepare for that and getting to meet some new people from across the country. Some of our coffee idols were there and we got to compete against them.”

Conway was the first ever barista from New Brunswick to make it to the qualifiers, and said there was a certain stigma against specialty coffee makers from the east coast.

“I was so proud to go and fly the Atlantic Canadian flag in these competitions,” he says.

“There was a competitor from Halifax who is a good friend of ours. Unfortunately, he did not move on, but we were both really excited to be there and promote what we do. There’s excellent things here, but people don’t realize it.”

He’ll be competing against Canada’s best in Vancouver this summer, but you can pop in and try one of his signature drinks anytime.

“A lot of our latte art here is highly regarded. Our whole team here is good at providing an Instagram moment with coffee. We want to take our customers on a journey. Wherever you want to go we want to meet you there. If you’re a triple/triple Tim’s drinker or if you’re an experienced coffee drinker, we’re going to meet you where you are,” says Conway.