The Making Of Our Hazelnut Latte

The Making Of Our Hazelnut Latte

Monday, 25th July 2016

designed by our barista of the year
Every year the baristas across our 7 stores compete to be crowned the Planet Organic barista of the year. The competition includes making our signature coffees with different milks and creating a signature drink with the winning drink being sold across all our stores for the summer.  We caught up with our Barista of the Year 2016; Derya who works in our Torrington Place store to talk competitions, coffee and her amazing iced hazelnut latte.

How long have you been at planet organic?
I started at the end of November so 8 months. I have been in London for 8 years (from Turkey) working in the hospitality industry. 

How did your love of coffee start? 
Before I came to London I had never drunk a cappuccino, then when I did I was like wow!  
When independent coffee shops started appearing I travelled around England to visit them. I would look up where to get good coffee in a place then visit, like going up to Oxford. 


What do you like best about visiting coffee shops? 
When I first walk into a coffee shop, I love the smell of the coffee. Every weekend I go to a nice coffee shop with my husband, this weekend we went to Hatton Gardens to get our wedding rings and we went for a nice coffee there. I am very picky about coffee shops!
Apart from Planet Organic obviously, where do you like to go for coffee in london?
Monmouth coffee and I really like Caravan because you can smell the beans roasting while you’re drinking your coffee.
How do you drink your coffee?
I like to drink good quality coffee, I am not a coffeeholic!  I used to drink cappuccinos. Now I want to drink straight coffee. My favourite is a double macchiato; a double espresso with melt in your mouth thick foam on top. It’s my manager Andrew’s favourite as well. 
Were you nervous before the barista of the year final? 
I was a little bit confident during the competition! I thought I had a chance to win and I spoke to the other contestants before we started and I think I made them nervous!

During the competition you wowed the judges with your signature drink; your iced hazelnut latte. was this something you designed for the competition?
This was a very old recipe of mine. I created it years ago in turkey after the first Starbucks opened; I wanted to create my own version of their iced drinks. The shop I worked in didn’t have a blender then so I put all the ingredients in a jar and had to shake it!


Were you excited when you won the competition?
I was excited when I won. I had been doing extra training myself for 2 days before the competition after I finished work at 5pm until 9pm. 


What do you like most about being a barista at Planet Organic? 
I am very interested in sales; I like selling good products. I like to draw pictures in the coffee for regular customers too; like a sun if it’s raining or a smiley face. I am very happy when customers wait for me to make their coffee.
Why did you choose hazelnut milk, what was your inspiration? 
My father has a hazelnut farm in the small village in Turkey that I am from. Every year I go back to manage the hazelnut harvest, last year we had 5000kg of hazelnuts but this year we hope to have 10,000kg. 


Tell us more about the Harvest! 
I am going back at the end of August for a couple of weeks. We have 20 people working on the farm between 7am and 7pm harvesting the hazelnuts. I walk around and give them food & drinks and make sure they are all ok. I am taking my husband with me this year for him to learn. 

Derya’s Iced Hazelnut Latte is a blend of hazelnut milk, double espresso, Manuka honey and vanilla bean paste. It is available in all stores until the end of August!

Check out our drinks menu HERE

Written By


Leave your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

(Leave blank to show as anonymous)
(Required, this will not display)