White Compass Logo

Continued commitment by Compass to the Barista Academy Programme (1)

Stephen Lovegrove

In May 2018, we revealed the five winners of the unique Compass Master Barista heats, who now head up the company’s elite group of coffee experts. Since then, they have undertaken a packed agenda including visits to UCC, Brita Water, West Country Milk and early in January this year, they visited Simonelli Group in Italy to test out the latest espresso technology at their coffee research laboratory and production facility in Belforte del Chienti.

Our commitment to this unique initiative remains a priority focus in 2019, so I am delighted to announce the appointment of Sonali Tailor, who joins the Central Marketing Team as our Coffee Education and Training Manager.

A member of the Speciality Coffee Association (SCA), Sonali’s appointment comes at an exciting time for Compass as we continue to build on, and expand, our current coffee offering with ambitious growth plans with our new café formats and in-house coffee brands, Peak Street and Crackle & Hum.

I’m absolutely thrilled to have Sonali on-board! Her experience within the industry, coupled with sheer enthusiasm and comprehensive plans for the continued development of our barista community, makes for an exciting year ahead.

We know our consumers not only want great tasting coffee, they want it delivered well and by knowledgeable, experienced and friendly baristas, which is why training is such a big focus for us this year. Developing the skills of our baristas is vital to maintain our position within a very competitive market, and Sonali will be key to this.

By her own admission, Sonali is ‘passionate about all things coffee’! With a remit not only to include the day to day management and continued development of the master barista’s, she will also be delivering the SCA Coffee Skills programme to support the new café formats offerings, whilst running a number of exciting and collaborative sponsor engagement days.

Development of the Compass barista modules, alongside supporting operational teams, providing specialist technical knowledge and training to our front line management, are also a key part of the role. Sonali is keen advocate for wider plans for Compass to compete in future UK competitions such as the UKBC, Brewers Cup and Cup Tasters.

But back to the present for now, where we’ll be holding our very own internal competition - the Matcha Smackdown at our Innovation Centre in Chertsey on 14 March – which has been accredited as a Premier Training Campus by the SCA. This accreditation ensures the highest standards of coffee education within the industry and we are very proud to have achieved this.

Sonali Tailor, Coffee Education and Training Manager - Central Marketing, for Compass Group UK & Ireland said: “What attracted me to Compass was its focus and commitment to growing the knowledge and training of their barista community. The master barista programme is unique within the industry. It’s such a ground-breaking programme, with numerous opportunities for our baristas to continually develop and hone their skills. Compass is really leading the way, and I’m excited to be on board as we continue to keep raising that bar ever higher.

“I cannot wait for our Matcha Smackdown - I invite all our barista’s to sign up to take part, as this is an amazing opportunity to demonstrate your skills. We’re joining forces with both the SCA and Teapigs so this is a wonderful collaboration which I’m thrilled about. We have some great prizes on offer; this is going to be THE event to win so get those applications in today!”



We’re always looking to share your great stories from around our businesses. Why not share your stories with our Communications team? They would love to hear from you and can be contacted on uk.communications@compass-group.co.uk

Compass Master Barista's visiting the Simonelli Group at their coffee research laboratory and production facility in Belforte del Chienti, Italy.