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Matthew Roberts is the current SSP UK National

Barista Champion

Matthew Roberts, award-winning head barista at Huddersfield Station's Caffè Ritazza, is a cheese & pickle man at heart, with an interest in the animal world

Q. What's your favourite hot beverage? A. I love a cappuccino in the morning as it's the perfect kick start to my day.

Q. And cold?

A. Nothing beats a chilled Diet Coke, or if I am in a drinking mood Stella Artois!

Q. Do you have a favourite blend/single origin coffee? A. "Fino" is roasted in Huddersfield by Bolling Coffee ( it is a blend of four Arabicas from around the world.

Coffee enthusiast and Caffè Ritazza's rising star Matthew Roberts has been providing Huddersfield Station with first-class coffee for four years. In March this year, Matthew's passion and coffee making skills were recognised and he was crowned Barista Champion of the Year in the 2010 SSP UK National Barista Championships. Matthew wowed the judges with his signature drink, 'Chilli Mocha', which he then went on to showcase at Bath Coffee Festival.

His passion for creating award winning coffee is what makes him a highly successful barista at Caffè Ritazza. The UK's fourth largest coffee retailer has a simple and effective philosophy - global reach, local feel. It embraces local tastes and culture in its territories and adapts its coffee, food and environment to suit the needs of the local customer. Caffè Ritazza aims to provide its customers with great tasting coffee and delicious fresh food all served in an inviting and modern setting. The cafés allow customers to relax in comfort and take a break from the outside world with a touch of indulgence. For example the company blends fine Belgium Couverture chocolate with perfectly textured latte milk to create a luxurious hot chocolate. All the food is prepared on site from fresh ingredients and a strict shelf life policy means most of the fresh products are not kept for more than a few hours.

More information: SSP UK T: 01932 792400 W:

Q. What do you like to do at lunchtime? A. When I'm not working I like to potter around food stalls and places where I can try out new food and hot drinks.

Q. What's your ideal sandwich?

A. Ploughman's, particularly with homemade chutney and mature Cheddar in a door-stop sandwich - delicious!

Q. What's your guilty snacking treat? A. My guilty pleasure is flapjack, but at least it's got some healthy oats in there...!

Q. What's your favourite café/coffee shop and why? A. Brands such as Caffè Ritazza and Caffè Nero, as they produce coffee with good strong blends that are made daily.

Q. Describe (but don't name) the worst café/coffee shop you've ever been to. What happened? A. Again this is down to my personal taste, but the worst coffee I have had is from a well known chain, which only uses one shot of coffee and uses a bean-to-cup machine. Not a real coffee in my opinion.

Q. What are you: cheese & pickle on white; goats cheese & roasted veg focaccia; or raspberry & white choc chip muffin?

A. Easy choice for me...cheese & pickle on white.

Q. Do you go for an ethical beverage if given the choice?

A. "Fino" is a Rainforest Alliance approved brand, so that ticks the ethical box for me.

Q. Where will you be hanging out this weekend? A. In the garden, weather permitting.

Q. Which celebrity (living or dead) would you like to chat to over a cappuccino? A. Sir David Attenborough; I would like to pick his brains about the animal kingdom.

48 Essential Café

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