That’s right! It’s Juan Valdez! And we all get to ride horses to the competition! Nah, I’m making that part up. But it is in fact true that the World Barista Championship (WBC) Organization just announced that Bogota, Colombia, will be the location for the 2011 WBC. This is pretty groundbreaking: the WBC has never taken place in a coffee-producing country. AND this will be so much more affordable for barista champions who hail from Central and South America to attend and compete in.
Given how much amazing development the Central and South American countries have made in the caliber of their baristas over just the past 5 years, it’s a really great statement, in my opinion, that the WBC is making about how important the coffee cultures in this part of the world are (DUH!) and giving us the chance to honor them.
Here’s the official press statement:
LONDON (March 1, 2010) – Colombia has been selected to host the 12th annual World Barista Championship, which will be held in combination with the 2011 EXPOESPECIALES conference in Bogota.
Seven countries vied to host the 2011 event. “Choosing a winner from the very competitive site proposals we received was an extremely difficult task for the WBC board,” commented WBC Executive Director Cindy Chang.
The World Barista Championship (WBC) event is the annual destination for barista champions hailing from more than 50 countries. In each national competition and dozens of local and regional preliminary events, baristas prepare espressos, cappuccinos and original signature drinks to exacting standards for a panel of international judges.
“We are delighted to host the 2011 Championship,” said Luis Muñoz, CEO of the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia (FNC). “It will be an opportunity for baristas and visitors to keep discovering the world of Colombia Coffee, and also to support our domestic coffee consumption program.”