Rachel is in training to become a coffee queen

Rachel Parker from Garstang
Rachel Parker from Garstang

FARMER’S daughter Rachel Parker, from Garstang, has set her sights on becoming a “coffee queen”.

Rachel, whose family supply milk to Arla Foods, has been selected by milk producers Cravendale to take part in the 2012 UK Barista Championships.

As part of her preparations, Rachel will be immersed in to the world of coffee, with regular training sessions from Cravendale ahead of the first regional heat in January.

Cravendale found two budding baristas to sponsor throughout the competition by advertising in one of Arla Foods Milk Partnership publications.

AFMP is a group of farmers who supply milk to Arla Foods, the company behind Cravendale milk. Two Lancashire-based candidates were chosen and are being intensively trained and mentored ahead of the barista regional heats in the new year.

Rachel is no stranger to coffee as she works at the busy Old Holly Farm café in Forton.

A dairy farmer’s daughter, Rachel has had a passion for the milk industry and coffee from a young age. She has even earned herself the nickname of “Brew Girl” at her local Young Farmers’ Club.

Rachel said: “I’m really excited to have been given this opportunity by Cravendale. Dairy farming is in my blood and I’ve always been interested in the art of coffee making, so I’m looking forward to learning more about the processes involved.

“I’m particularly excited about the latte art. It looks great and is, hopefully, something I could bring back to the Old Holly Farm café that the customers would enjoy.”

Liz Fletcher, assistant brand manager for Cravendale, said: “It’s really great that we can work closely with Arla’s supplying farmers and get them involved with activities relating to the brand. The UK Barista Championships are a great competition and we’re pleased to be able to help highlight the skills of budding baristas like Rachel.

“The training stage encapsulates everything the baristas need to know and aims to prepare the candidates for the main competition through fun and interesting tasks that immerse them in to the world of coffee. Coffee is a big part of the Cravendale brand; we believe it really does make the best cup of coffee and the frothiest milk for cappuccinos. We would love to be the milk of choice for independent coffee shops throughout the country.”

The UK Barista Championship 2012 aims to drive the quality of coffee served throughout the country by making people more aware of just how good their daily cup can be with a little more care. The baristas are judged on the flavour of their drinks as well as the skills demonstrated in producing them. The most impressive barista will be titled the UK Barista of 2012 and also entered in the 2012 World Barista Championships.

l To follow Rachel’s experience and learn more about the championships visit Cravendale’s online newsroom at www.milkmatters.co.uk