Beige Champion Visits Portland

I first met Peter Frennhoff in Nicaragua last February when Ken and I toured the country with the Swedish Barista Team. Peter is an accomplished chef as well as an outstanding barista, and a great guy to hang out with. In the picture below, Peter (top left) poses with kids at the school at Finca Jesus Maria in Matagalpa.

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The next time we saw Peter was in Copenhagen during the World Barista Championship. Peter was the newly crowed Beige Champion, which essentially means he’s killer at latte art. In Sweden, the Beige Championship goes hand in hand with the Swedish Barista Championship: in an effort to increase milk consumption in Sweden, the Swedish Dairy Board launched an aggressive espresso and milk training program called the Beige Project. Each year, a Beige Champion is crowned, and he or she is an ambassador of coffee and espresso throughout the country. As a prize, the Beige Champion is treated to a tour of an area that is known for coffee excellence. For the first time ever, the Beige Project coordinator, Gunilla Steinwall, chose the Pacific Northwest for the tour. David Latourell in Seattle hosted the group for the last few days, and tonight, they arrive in Portland for this leg of the tour, and I’m happy to say that I’ll play tour guide for them for the next 3 days.

We’ll be cupping like crazy, visiting a ton of cafes, going to some awesome Portland restaurants (Paleys Place, Le Pigeon, Park Kitchen), and soaking in all the PDX coffee culture the group can muster. On Friday, we’ll go out to visit Jon Bansen’s Organic Valley dairy in Mollala, which should be terrific. These Swedes are going to keep me busy, but I’ll try to post about our adventures when I can. At the very least, I’ll give a full report on Saturday. So check back soon!

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