Finalist #2—HUNGARY

World Barista Championship FINALIST #2

ATTILA MOLNAR OF HUNGARY

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As the barista champion of Hungary in 2008, Attila Molnar placed 12th in Copenhagen at the World Barista Championship. Now, he is back, having brought his country to the finals for the very first time. It’s an enormous accomplishment in and of itself. Attila is 100 percent entirely in love with his coffee—he is using a single origin for all three coffees, something we haven’t seen very much of in the WBC (though it’s popular in the U.S.). He has brought a Yirgacheffe Beloya from Ethiopia which he says is colorful and diverse.

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He begins by doing some prep work on his signature drink, which is based on pumpkins. He has four slices of pumpkin which he is toasting in a frying pan. He also has grated pumpkin which he is cooking in a sauce pan. To the grated pumpkin, he adds sugar, water and a bit of organic maple syrup. He tells the judges that “the first time I tasted Beloya… I don’t have words.” He says it has a nice balance but tastes very fresh with lots of sugars. But, he says, there is something more. With this, he leaves us in wait and says he will continue with the description in a moment.

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As he serves his espressos, he tells the judges they will have a distinct berry tone. He has impressively steady hands—and later, he tells the audience that he is less nervous today than he was in the preliminary round. He just seems happy up there—that’s the best word to describe the feeling he has brought to the stage.

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Attila’s cappuccinos are made using organic milk that is full fat. “For me, the most important thing of this cappuccino is the taste of the Beloya. I hope you like it,” he tells the judges as he serves them off of adorable trays that each hold two drinks and are carried by a handle.

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Now he moves on to his signature drink: he brings out a pitcher of blueberry juice he has squeezed himself, and filters the pulp, pressing the juice out. Now, to a whipped cream dispenser, he pours from a small pitcher that is filled with half milk, half cream, into the base of a whipped cream dispenser. He takes the grated pumpkin and filters the juice into the dispenser as well. He takes the dispenser to the judges’ table and leaves it there, telling them he’s going to go prepare the most important part of the drink: the espresso.

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As the espressos begin to drip down the spouts, Attila looks at them and smiles broadly. It’s such a great thing to see a barista who is made so happy by his coffee. He adds the espresso shots to the glasses with blueberry juice, and tops each off with the pumpkin fam from the dispenser. It’s a beautiful performance to watch. Attila, bravo—you’ve once again done your country proud, and brought something new and memorable to the World Barista Championship.

About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.