WBC 2014 Finalist 6 – Chris Loukakis, Greece

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BARISTA CHAMPION OF GREECE
Christos Loukakis
TAF

Find our interview with Chris here.

The final competitor in the 2014 World Barista Championship is the beloved Chris Loukakis, whose success in other coffee competitions is plenty to make him a formidable competitor: he was the World Latte Art Champion in 2011, and he placed second in the World Brewers Cup in 2012. The company he works with, Taf, is respected not only as one of the very best coffee companies in Greece, but around the world.

Chemex is almost synonymous with Taf—the Athens company is well known for producing fantastic filter coffee.

Chemex is almost synonymous with Taf—the Athens company is well known for producing fantastic filter coffee.

His coworker and best friend, Stefanos Domatiotis, is kind of a legend in barista competitions because he has competed as the Greek Champion for so many years. But now, it’s Chris’ turn.

He’s got an ease and level of comfort on stage that belie his years of competitions. He’s practically dancing to the beat of his competition music. He’s using two coffees; for his cappuccino course, he’s brought a pacamara from the Santa Ana region of Guatemala. He talks intimately about the farmer; Taf is famous for forging tight relationships with their producer partners, so this is no surprise, but nice to see nonetheless.

Chris is incredibly expressive, and his passion for his profession is evident

Chris is incredibly expressive, and his passion for his profession is evident

He tells the judges that this coffee from Guatemala matures especially slowly, which is what he attributes the amazing sweetness of the coffee to.

As the 2011 World Latte Art Champion, Chris had no problem executing flawless

As the 2011 World Latte Art Champion, Chris had no problem executing flawless

For his signature drink, he is using Vahlrona cocoa, smashed blackberry, and a micro lot Panama Geisha from Ninety Plus.

It should be noted that Chris and his team are  flying high, as Stefanos has just been crowned World Brewers Cup Champion of 2014. But Chris couldn’t be more focused. Still, his energy is effervescent, he’s so smooth and, well, human.

Chris is incredibly poised on stage, and no wonder—he's a seasoned competitor.

Chris is incredibly poised on stage, and no wonder—he’s a seasoned competitor.

How could you not love this face?

How could you not love this face?

He pulls shots of the Geisha and presents them to the judges, asking them to stir and sniff them. Then he filters the cocoa and blackberry juice through a Chemex and adds the espressos, one by one, to the Chemex. He swirls the liquid in the Chemex, redistributes into some lovely glass, and serves to his judges. It’s elegant and deceptively simple—a really special drink and a stand-out performance.

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