Rep. of Korea, Rep. of Serbia, Czech Republic

#41: BARISTA CHAMPION OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA: LEE JONG HOON The barista champion from the Republic of Korea is a polished performer from the moment he takes the stage. He is using a Cup of Excellence Costa Rican coffee, and he’s deft at explaining its beauties to the judges. … Read more →

Ireland, Denmark, United Kingdom

#38: BARISTA CHAMPION OF IRELAND—COLIN HARMON Today is the one-year anniversary of Colin becoming a barista. Prior to coffee, Colin was a successful financier—he had no reason to look for another career path. But he simply realized he loved coffee so much that he would like to pursue the barista … Read more →

Housekeeping

We’re getting ready to begin today, the final day of the first round, and the WBC space is buzzing! But first, 2 notes… 1) Official word on the archived videos of each competitor: videos will be up in a few weeks. 2) The announcement of the finalists will be EARLIER … Read more →

Some Notes About the WBC…

Hello World! The number of international friends walking to and fro on the other side of the glass, from where I sit here in my blogging booth covering the WBC, is outstanding—so many people to see! So from here in Atlanta, the world seems pretty small. But I know there … Read more →

Panama, Croatia, Russia

#35: BARISTA CHAMPION OF PANAMA—AUSEL GADI DEL VALLE FRANKLIN Though Panama’s coffee has been regarded as some of the finest not only in the world at this moment, but in history, it’s strange to think that it took until 2009 for Panama to have its first barista championship, but that’s … Read more →

Thailand, Hungary, Spain

#32: BARISTA CHAMPION OF THAILAND—BENYAPA NAOWAN Benyapa Naowan tells us that her whole performance will be “sweet and charming, like I am,” and I have to agree. She’s wonderfully adorable but still maintains a strong command of the stage. She has made a point to learn some English to address … Read more →

Kenya, Costa Rica, India, El Salvador

#28: BARISTA CHAMPION OF KENYA—JOHN MAKAU John is the three-time Kenyan Barista Champion, and his experience shows immediately when he take the stage tday. He tells the judges that he is using coffee grown in the “sweet hills” of Kenya, and that they will taste a distinctive milk chocolate in … Read more →

Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico, New Zealand

#24: BARISTA CHAMPION OF MEXICO—ALVARO CARRASCO I met Alvaro in Mexico at the natinal championship back in September. Mexico was the first country to put the new WBC rules and regulations into use, and Alvaro did a tremendous job with his presentation, earning him second place in the very competitive … Read more →

Italy, Finland, Nicaragua, Brazil

#20: BARISTA CHAMPION OF ITALY—MICHELE PAULETIC Italy’s Michele Pauketic is ready to get the day off to a great start! He takes the stage with confidence and ease, welcoming the judges warmly before launching into his explanation of his coffee, a blend of Ethiopian, Costa Rican and Brazilian beans. He … Read more →

And in other news…

We’re having a great time here in Atlanta at another amazing WBC, but I couldn’t let this moment pass without noting it. So Barista Magazine just turned four. And the Portland Trail Blazers after six years out of the play-offs had an incredible season, won 54! games and just landed … Read more →

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