WBC Rimini, Round 1, Day 2: All the Action in Photos

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Article and photos by Kate Beard

Yesterday, the remaining 25 competitors gave their performances for the preliminary round of the World Barista Championships 2014. It was yet another long, tough day for the baristas, their teams, and the wonderful staff and volunteers. I’m sure it was a tough day even for the fans as they cheered their hearts out and waited anxiously to find out if their country’s barista had made it through to the semifinals round.

We now all know the results of the semifinals, but first let’s take a look at the highlights from all the competitors involved in the second day of the preliminaries.

New Zealand barista champion Hiroko Hanna Teramoto’s performance was bursting with excitement and energy as the cheerful Super Mario Bros. theme tune played.

New Zealand barista champion Hiroko Hanna Teramoto’s performance was bursting with excitement and energy as the cheerful Super Mario Bros. theme tune played.

Lithuanian barista champion Vaiva Maskovaite served her drinks on innovative spinning trays that had 3 sections drawn on them, one for each drink.

Lithuanian barista champion Vaiva Maskovaite served her drinks on innovative spinning trays that had 3 sections drawn on them, one for each drink.

Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, representing the UK, took an extremely scientific approach in his performance this year, even donning a lab coat and goggles at one point.

Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, representing the UK, took an extremely scientific approach in his performance this year, even donning a lab coat and goggles at one point.

Some countries had an impressive turn out of supporters, such as Japan and Costa Rica. They cheered fervently and waved flags, raising the energy level in the room to a fever pitch at times. For Hidenori Izaki from Japan, his entourage brought flags signed by well-wishers back home, and draped the banners over the side of the stands.

The many fans of Hidenori Iszaki, Barista Champion of Japan, showed their support during his performance.

The many fans of Hidenori Iszaki, Barista Champion of Japan, showed their support during his performance.

The cheering section for Barista Champion of Costa Rica, Maria Bonilla.

The cheering section for Barista Champion of Costa Rica, Maria Bonilla.

Koray Erdogdu from Turkey was one of a few competitors in the preliminary rounds who competed in their own languages, using translators for the judges and sometimes the audience. Even if we couldn’t understand the words being said, these competitors’ enthusiasm still shone through, showing that passion for good coffee transcends language barriers.

Koray Erdogdu from Turkey was one of a few competitors in the preliminary rounds who competed in their own languages, using translators for the judges and sometimes the audience. Even if we couldn’t understand the words being said, these competitors’ enthusiasm still shone through, showing that passion for good coffee transcends language barriers.

American barista champion Laila Ghambari made waves at the USBCs this year with her innovative performance that interpreted “farm-to-cup” in a very personal way. Every part of her signature drink was made with components of coffee plants from the farm she visited, and the farmers even came to support her here in Rimini.

Barista Champion of South Africa, Craig Charity.

Barista Champion of South Africa, Craig Charity.

Despite problems with customs that almost derailed his performance, Chris Charity of South Africa finally brought the day to a close. We’re glad all of his equipment finally arrived - he definitely wins the award for Best-Looking Grinder.

Despite problems with customs that almost derailed his performance, Chris Charity of South Africa finally brought the day to a close. We’re glad all of his equipment finally arrived – he definitely wins the award for Best-Looking Grinder.

The semifinal round is under way as we speak, so be sure to catch all the action on the livestream here! http://new.livestream.com/worldcoffee2

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