#4: BARISTA CHAMPION OF BELGIUM—MELANIE D’LORES NUNES
Melanie D’Lores Nunes called upon her shared heritage—Jamaica and Belgium—for the theme of her barista performance, from her outfit and table setting, both a bright, cheery green, to her signature drink, which combined elements both areas are known for. Melanie’s coffee is Colombian, for full body, she said, Salvadorn, for mild acidity, she said, and also contained Sidamo, her personal favorite. She began her performance at the judges table explaining her coffee and also preparing some of her signature drink in a shaker. For Melanie’s cappuccinos, she poured hearts atop each of four and served them at the same time to all four judges. Melanie’s signature drink included Belgian chocolate and sugar cane syrup to form the base of the drink. She then poured espresso over the top of this. She also incorporated lime and coconut milk, for the tie-in to Jamaica. Upon serving, Melanie instructed the judges to stir the drink. And she finished with just a few seconds left!
#5: BARISTA CHAMPION OF THE NETHERLANDS—SANDER SCHAT
An intense young man with a true command of his space and ingredients, Sander Schat began his competition performance by explaining his blend, which included a Costa Rican and a washed Sidamo. He told the judges that in the nose, they would get honey and fruits from the espresso, as well as licorice. He continued to follow what he felt was a predominance of fruit flavors, both yellow and red fruits. He strained the yellow fruits, pineapple, mango and passion fruit, and filled a dropper with juice. His music was as intense as he was, almost progressive rock thundering behind him. The signature drink was truly a delight, served in several parts using elaborate bent spoons.
#6: BARISTA CHAMPION OF SWITERLAND—PHILIPP MEIER
Philipp Meier’s history as a bartender came into play in various ways throughout his performance, from his use of bar tools like the shaker, the flair he incorporated, and even his serving technique, holding his tray above his head by his fingertips. Philipp explained to the judges that his inspiration was the chestnut, a traditional ingredient that has been enjoying a renaissance in Switzerland, saying it had been recently “reinvented as a a basic element of everyday cooking” in his home country. For his signature drink, he began by dashing each cup with a generous dollop of chestnut mousse. It was a delightful element and he played it very well.