Hello, Mexico or rather ¡Hola, Mexico!

The Mexican Barista Championship and Mexican Latte Art Championship begin tomorrow.

The new round of national barista competitions for the 2011 World Barista Championship that began in July in Puerto Rico continues with the 9th Annual Mexican Barista Championship.

Looking north from the hotel, site of judges' training.

I arrived in Mexico City about one in the morning and awoke to a beautiful day. Today is a day of judges’ training and calibration for both the barista and latte art competitions.

Jose explains the score sheet to a volunteer judge.

The usual suspects, Mexico’s own Jose Arreola and Guatemala’s Rouki Delrue, are leading the judges’ training for the MBC, while Iceland’s Sonja Grant and Germany’s Steffen Schwarz are heading up the latte art calibration.

Also serving as judges are Allegro Coffee’s Mike Strumpf from Colorado and some fellow who goes by the name of Stephen Morrissey from Intelligentsia Chicago.

Mike, Stephen and Rouki discuss espressos served by last year's national champion Fabrizio.

Judges calibrate scoring in advance of tomorrow's competition.

Mike tastes Fabrizio's espresso as other judges write down their scores.

The competitions officially get underway tomorrow. They will both be held nearby at the convention center which is also hosting the largest specialty coffee show in Mexico. It will be an interesting time, so check back for updates as the competitions progress, and I will try to post as often as I can. Adios for now.

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!