So bright and early this morning I took it upon myself to assist each finalist for the 2009 in tasting and understanding better the coffees they have chosen for today.
As difficult a task as it was I asked each champion to make me a cappuccino, and share with me the secret of the bean(s).
Colin Harmon, former financial executive turned barista has chosen a Bolivian direct trade coffee roasted by @hasbean in the UK. He chose it blind out of 13 samples sent to him. The farm is a former Cup of Excellence winner and hails from Machacamarca BV.
On the bag the coffee is described as Sweet, dark chocolate, rich smooth and amazing. The bonus is the producer will be in the audience to see his coffee and Colin onstage.
Tweed & flat cap wearing Gwilym Davies brings to the stage for the third year in a row a pair of coffees roasted by Square Mile Coffee Roasters in London. He has chosen to use two single origins and two grinders (he told me he swore that would never happen). For his espresso & cappuccino he has selected the Del a Bispo huila from Colombia and for his signature drink, which is constructed with the assistance of the judges and some envelopes (you’ll have to watch online) he is offering a Colonia San Juan Bolivian.
Back home in England there is a lot of bitter love for Gwilym as the sun shines fondly in London on their home town hero.
Beyond excited, and very proud Korean competitor Lee Jong Hoon who sites Tim Wendleboe as one of his greatest influences is also using two coffees onstage today. For his espresso he has, an El Salvador Cup of Excellence selection washed sundried bourbon and for his cappuccino a Costa Rica La Planada mechanically washed coffee.
For an extra bonus watch for his two portafilter in one hand double grinding trick. Super cool.
Four time national winner, and now four time WBC finalist Sammy Piccolo has taken an unusual path for this competition in going for a blend of two coffees. All the other competitors have chosen to use only a single origin for each coffee while Sammy has a blend of 85% Costa Rican Herbazu (two varietals) and 15% Aricha Yirgacheffe.
When i asked Sammy about the flavour two words were used – Grapefruit and Caramel. Both being sweet and juicy. Should make for an interesting cup of coffee.
Attila Molnar is also using an ethiopian coffee – Yirgacheffe Beloya SO for each of his coffee courses. When I asked him how he was feeling, he said “OK I guess” as he busily worked through his practice time that I did not want to disturb. His shots were looking golden and hopefully will deliver onstage.
He’s on second – make sure to cheer him on.
One of the loveliest new people I’ve met this week Mikey Phillips from Chicago is here with extra pressure – home crowd representation. On stage yesterday in the heats he revealed he only chose his coffee 3 weeks ago and has spent the time since getting to know it well.
The Rwandan washed boubon from Maraba Co-op is sweet, fruity, cherry and bright, delightful even. Rwandicious.
His mum and dad are in the audience to cheer him on also.
about 30 minutes until kick off – let the coffee begin!