Cheers, Luis—Nicaraguan Barista Champ!

The second annual Nicaraguan Barista Championship, which took place February 1–3, was totally a world class event! Judges from Honduras, Costa Rica, Iceland, Denmark, Finland, and Estonia, not to mention 12 locals who got certified by head judge Jose Arreola, were impressed by the professionalism of the 19 competitors—many of whom had received recent training from visiting Nordic baristas. Top honors went to Luis “Cappuccino” Lopez in the end. Luis benefited from training and a fun team competition on February 1 with the Swedish Barista Team in Managua:

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(That’s Luis on the far left, joined by other top Nicaraguan baristas,
including 2007 champion Salome, in white shirt)

Ken remembers first meeting Luis at Ramacafe in 2006, where Luis took part in training over several days with then World Barista Champion Klaus Thomsen, as well as Deaton Pigot, now of Intelligentsia. Luis has improved by leaps and bounds since then, and seemed at the top of his game when we saw him in Managua a few weeks ago. Of course, besides coffee, Ken and Luis share a passion for motorcycles, so Ken snapped this shot of Luis before we left:

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Congratulations, Luis. We can’t wait to see you on stage in Copenhagen at the 2008 World Barista Championship!

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