Colombia Pulls Off a World-Class Event (Again)

2013 Barista Champion of Colombia Ronald

 

The scene in Bogotá in 2011 when the World Barista Championship was hosted by Cafe de Colombia

The scene in Bogotá in 2011 when the World Barista Championship was hosted by Cafe de Colombia (photo by Kenneth R. Olson)

History was made in 2011 in myriad ways: the site of the 2011 World Barista Championship was for the first time a producing country; and the guy who won the contest that is recognized the world over was from a producing country, himself (Alejandro Mendez, El Salvador)—another first.

No one can argue that the World Barista Championship that the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) held in Bogotá was one of the best we’ve ever had: the national champions were not only excellently taken care of and celebrated during their time on the world stage, all organized by the FNC, but they were treated to coffee farm visits—all on the FNC’s dime—as a way for the FNC to not only reward these national champions, but invest in their future as coffee professionals.

International barista champions tour Colombia's growing regions before the start of the WBC in 2011.

International barista champions tour Colombia’s growing regions before the start of the WBC in 2011. (Photo by Kenneth R. Olson)

Champions out in the fields. The FNC wanted to invest in the future of specialty coffee professionals by offering this once-in-a-lifetime chance for all national barista champions to travel together to source.

Champions out in the fields. The FNC wanted to invest in the future of specialty coffee professionals by offering this once-in-a-lifetime chance for all national barista champions to travel together to source. (Photo by Kenneth R. Olson)

 

Though that competition took place nearly two years ago, the FNC hasn’t slowed down a bit in its efforts to provide support not only to growers, but to baristas and cafe owners, as well. Understanding that professional baristas are not only the future of the specialty coffee industry, but the present more and more, the FNC welcomes any and all coffee pros to the many online resources it has—such as the Colombian Coffee Hub, “a coffee lover community created at origin by people who are dedicated full-time to getting the perfect bean for the perfect cup.” If you haven’t already become a Hubber, we encourage you to do it now!

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Another development at the FNC: they’ll be writing a column for Barista Magazine in each issue starting with the April/My 2013 edition. Now, they have full control over the column—it’s not Barista Mag editorial, but it is interactive for our readers: they are encouraged to write in to the FNC with any questions they might have about coffee growing and work at origin. Authors from the FNC will respond to the questions in each successive column. Look for it in the April/May issue!

Today, however, we write to you about the FNC because they just hosted an amazing national competition this last weekend in Bogotá. Between Friday and Sunday, the VII National Barista Championship of Colombia celebrated the talents of 32 competitors in a memorable showdown.

By Saturday evening, the six finalists had been determined:
·        Ronald Valero from Juan Valdez Coffee Shops who used coffee from Tolima
·        Joanni Largo las Juan Valdez Coffee Shops who used coffee from Tolima
·        Antonio Romero from Arte y Pasión Café who used a blend from Envigado (Antioquia) and Silvania (Cundinamarca).
·        Mauricio Romero from E&D Café who used coffee from Huila
·        Diego Campos from Amor Perfecto who used coffee from Huila
·        Nicolás Rico from Amor Perfecto who used coffee from Huila

An especially intense finals round...

An especially intense finals round… (photo by Michael Losada)

Baristas take it to the mat in Bogotá

Baristas take it to the mat in Bogotá (photo by Michael Losada)

Science and art came together at the competition this past weekend (photo by Michael Losada)

Science and art came together at the competition this past weekend (photo by Michael Losada)

Champion Ronald, overwhelmed by the victory on Sunday. (Photo by Michael Losada)

Champion Ronald, overwhelmed by the victory on Sunday. (Photo by Michael Losada)

The finals where held on Sunday and the baristas showed their skills and experience to highlight the flavor and quality of these coffees with their preparations. The winner of this edition is Ronald Valero from the Juan Valdez Coffee Shops and he will be representing Colombia in this year’s WBC. These where the results of the competition:

2013 Barista Champion of Colombia Ronald

2013 Barista Champion of Colombia Ronald Valero! (Photo by Michael Losada)

1.        Ronald Valero
2.        Joanni Largo
3.        Diego Campos
4.        Nicolás Rico
5.        Mauricio Romero
6.        Antonio Romero

Silvia Gutierrrez was the WBC’s International Judge.

Thank you to the FNC for your continued commitment to the growth and sustainability of our international coffee community. We at Barista Magazine can’t wait to see Ronald Valero bring his skill set to Melbourne in May at the World Barista Championship!

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Barista Magazine is the leading trade magazine in the world for the professional coffee community.