Norway, Poland

#50: BARISTA CHAMPION OF NORWAY—ODA MISJE HAUG Oda is only 18 years old! You wouldnt know it by the level of professionalism of her performance, however—she’s incredibly knowledgable about her coffee, a washed Colombian she thoroughly understands. Her service is sweet and charming as she tells the judges that she … Read more →

Guatemala, Austria, Sweden

#47: BARISTA CHAMPION OF GUATEMALA—RAUL RODAS Raul is back this year after a tremendous showing in Copenhagen at the World Barista Championship in 2008. He has practiced hard for this second chance, and it shows. He is using a coffee from the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala, and he is intimately … Read more →

United States, Argentina, Estonia

#44: BARISTA CHAMPION OF THE UNITED STATES—MICHAEL PHILLIPS Oh, Mike Phillips—he’s just one of the nicest, most genuine guys I know. By his own admission, he was an unlikely winner of the United States Barista Championship—he’s a workhorse, running a busy cafe in Chicago, competing when he can, and always … Read more →

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 →

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