As expected the place went nuts when the fifth competitor of the day took the stage. Lina Zea, barista champion of Colombia, was greeting with a rousing ovation by the hometown crowd. Only a few months ago, Lina did not speak any English, but after spending two months studying in Portland, Ore. she delivered her whole routine in the language.
Yakup Aydin, the barista champion of the Netherlands, gave a smooth performance. His signature drink used a blueberry foam, black currant and muscavge sugar to create the flavor of a blueberry muffin.
What can one say of Pete Licata? He is grace under pressure, but also a walking font of coffee knowledge, and it was all in display in his performance. Pete was literally involved in the coffees he used from seed to cup. It’s fantastic.
Aljandro Mendez brings a lot of coffee knowledge himself to the stage. The barista champion of El Salvador has youthful energy, enthusiasm and skill. His signature drink also used all the parts a coffee tree produces including the cascara, flower blossoms and coffee mucilage.