Good Morning NBC!

After some much needed sleep last night, everyone is raring to go this morning, as day number one of the 2009 Nordic Barista Cup (NBC) begins! You would hardly believe it’s just 8 in the morning, as spirits are high and latte art is being poured. Here’s the scoop: while the teams are getting the low-down on the program, and the judges are getting prepped, the attendees are participating in a latte art throwdown! Granted, latte art throwdowns traditionally have taken place in evenings with beer flowing, this early morning version works quite well!

Thomas Sigfred, left, a chef from Copenhagen who has worked with barista champions on their signature drinks, and Mike Phillips, 2009 U.S. Barista Champion, participate in the early morning latte art throwdown. The competition is "sudden death" style: person vs. person, with one winner determined by the crowd.

Thomas Sigfred, left, a chef from Copenhagen who has worked with barista champions on their signature drinks, and Mike Phillips, 2009 U.S. Barista Champion, participate in the early morning latte art throwdown. The competition is "sudden death" style: person vs. person, with one winner determined by the crowd.

Mike's winning pour

Mike's winning pour

Thomas' very worthy heart got lots of accolades, as well!

Thomas' very worthy heart got lots of accolades, as well!

NBC organizer Bjorg Brend enjoys one of the lattes

NBC organizer Bjorg Brend enjoys one of the lattes

Volunteer Bronwen Serna calls the shots on which lattes will win.

Volunteer Bronwen Serna calls the shots on which lattes will win.

The famous and beautiful Sonja Grant, who is overseeing the judges for this event, gets her paperwork in order.

The famous and beautiful Sonja Grant, who is overseeing the judges for this event, gets her paperwork in order.

Everyone gathers with their AWESOME goodie bags -- really great treats in these bags, including bottles of Jameson whiskey, a thermos, a pour over -- everything we could possibly need for the 2 nights we will spend in the Icelandic wilderness, beginning tonight.

Everyone gathers with their AWESOME goodie bags -- really great treats in these bags, including bottles of Jameson whiskey, a thermos, a pour over -- everything we could possibly need for the 2 nights we will spend in the Icelandic wilderness, beginning tonight.

I call this photo "Americans Waking Up": here, Jessi Morris and Jay Lijewski have some coffee and croissants.

I call this photo "Americans Waking Up": here, Jessi Morris and Jay Lijewski have some coffee and croissants.

So as the latte art throwdown continues, the teams return to the main gathering space to prep their stations…

Most of Team Sweden (Anne had wandered off...)

Most of Team Sweden (Anne had wandered off...)

Team Denmark in their adorable stocking caps...

Team Denmark in their adorable stocking caps...

Yay Team Norway!

Yay Team Norway!

Let's hear it for Team Suomi!

Let's hear it for Team Suomi!

I could only manage to round up two members of Team Iceland, and here they are!

I could only manage to round up two members of Team Iceland, and here they are!

Right now, the group of teams and attendees have gathered in the lecture hall, which is across from the larger space where the activities are taking place. They are learning about Costa Rican coffee from Flori Marin of Maercanta, and François Castells of Costa Rica. The reason for the focus? Csta Rica is the portrait country of this year’s Nordic Barista Cup! The winning team from this event will travel to Costa Rica in January to learn about the region’s fantastic and diverse coffees.

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.