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Yejin Kang crowned winner of this year’s BMBC


Yejin Kang has been crowned winner of this year’s BM Caterers barista championship, at our annual coffee carnival.

As part of the final, which took place at the Victoria Arduino London Experience Lab in Camden Town on 17 May, finalists were tasked with serving four espressos, four milky beverages and four signature drinks within 15 minutes.

Yejin Kang

Yejin, who is a barista at a BM client site in London, beat fellow finalists Justin Gironella, Olga Nachyla, Bryan Bolanos, Hanna Bevza and Dom Perry to the top title. Her signature drink, Harmony, combined flavours including meringue, lemon zest, tonka bean and espresso shot. Gironella placed second, with Perry coming in third.

The Championship

The judging panels across the heats were made up of members of the Perkee team and BM operations managers. As well as representatives of partners and suppliers such as Bella Barista, Notes and Victoria Arduino.

The competition is based on the format of the UK Barista Championship. Testing coffee knowledge, grinding skills, coffee machine use and milk preparation techniques. These challenges in turn finesse the service of BM’s baristas.

What Adrian said

Adrian Steenkamp, coffee brand manager at BM, said: “Yejin presented herself throughout the heats very professionally and demonstrated her skills, knowledge. Understanding of the coffee she presented and the taste profiles across the drinks.

“Not only did she present each drink correctly, but her excellent technical skills were also noticed by the judges and her signature drink blew all the judges away. All our finalists did an amazing job and should be so proud of what they achieved.”

What Yejin said

Yejin Kang said: “Since this was my first time participating in the barista championship, I was incredibly nervous and tense throughout the preparation period. However, thanks to the support and help of many people, I was able to continue.

“The time spent preparing was truly meaningful as I had the opportunity to learn and reflect on various aspects of coffee, such as coffee beans and espresso. This challenge was a significant and motivating step forward in my career as a barista. I would like to express my gratitude to BM for organising this event, and I want to say thank you to our managers Milda and Verdiana, our head chef Gareth and all my team for their support.”


The BM barista championship, or BMBC, was launched in 2018 to celebrate BM’s coffee partnerships. As well as Perkee, BM’s premium coffee brand, which was developed in collaboration with Nicaraguan-based co-operative Soppexcca in 2016. The brand has since grown, allowing BM to partner with roasteries such as Notes and Bella Barista. Whilst providing our baristas the opportunity to select coffee from both roasteries.

The final took place as part of BM’s annual coffee carnival. As well as showcasing the skills of our baristas. It enables our teams to connect with suppliers. The event also allows attendees to sample products, learn new skills, and hear from guest speakers.