Welcome to the NBC '09!

Welcome to the 2009 Nordic Barista Cup! We’re here in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, in the Art Musuem for the first day of the competition. Last night we gathered at a nearby bar called Balthazar for a meet and greet.

World famous event MC Jose Arreola

World famous event MC Jose Arreola

Jose Arreola known for his constant globe trotting in support of barista competitions returned to Iceland for the first time since the event was held here in 2004 yesterday. He’s here to work as the emcee through the three days of competition.

The Danish team sports some sweet sweaters!

The Danish team sports some sweet sweaters!

We had a chance to be introduced to all of the teams, the judges and the many volunteers that make this event possible.

Helga Gudrun Johnson gave a presentation on the history of coffee in Iceland.

Helga Gudrun Johnson gave a presentation on the history of coffee in Iceland.

Following all of the introductions, we had a chance to listen to a presentation by Helga Gudrun Johnson on the development of coffee culture in Iceland. It was a lighthearted and fun retelling of the long journey of to get high quality coffee accepted and demanded by the public. In years past, for example, coffee beans were mixed with other materials to make a cup, including chicory, barley or even wet hay. Luckily no samples were available.

After the presentation, we had a few drinks and snacks, then the teams split to get to ready for the big event.

Right now the event is really underway with a latte art throwdown. We’ll have more soon.

About the Author

Ken

Kenneth R. Olson is co-founder and publisher of Barista Magazine the worldwide trade magazine for the professional coffee community. He has written extensively about specialty coffee, traveled near and far for stories, activities, and fun, and been invited to present on topics important to coffee culture. He is also an avid fan of the Portland Trail Blazers and the Washington Huskies. Go Blazers! Go Dawgs!