Getting started on Day 3

There are still 14 competitors to go today, day three of the preliminary round of the World Barista Championship, but the electricity in the air is all about what’s coming at the end of the day: the announcement of the six barista champions who will compete in the final round … Read more →

Competitors #34—#38

#34 NATIONAL CHAMPION OF KOREA JUNG-HYUN YOO WBC judge Brent Fortune went to Korea for the national championship recently (read abut it in the June-July 2008 issue of Barista Magazine) and was totally blown away by Jung-Hyun, both because of his skills and because of his warm disposition. Brent said … Read more →

Competitors #29—#33

#29 NATIONAL CHAMPION OF PUERTO RICO EDWIN AGUAYA Edwin is an engaging guy right off the bat, but unfortunately, hes off to a rocky start: seems he forgot to unload a bunch of equipment from his cart during his set-up time, so when he approaches the judges’ table at the … Read more →

Competitors #24—#28

#24 NATIONAL CHAMPION OF FRANCE ANTHONY CALVEZ Ah, Le France. Guido from La Marzocco was just sitting with me, and he’s vey excited to see Anthony’s performance—he has high hope for this champion. And no wonder: Anthony looks totally at ease up there on stage. He’s doing some prep for … Read more →

Competitors #19—#23

A quick note: competitor #18, South Africa, originally scheduled to compete at the end of day one, isn’t here yet. Hopefully he’ll make it soon, and will be scheduled into the mix. #19 NATIONAL CHAMPION OF BELGIUM DETLEV BATTIAU Detlev, introducing himself as a freelance barista, begins his preparation by … Read more →

Good Morning, Day 2!

The sun’s back today, and it’s downright gorgeous outside but hey, guess what? It’s muggy as ever inside the convention space. Still, no one seems to mind because excitement levels are so high. Today will be a big day with some heavy hitter competitors, including Australia, Mexico, the U.S. , … Read more →

Competitors #11—#17

#11 NATIONAL CHAMPION OF FINLAND MIKKO HAAHTI Mikko is the second barista I’ve heard today (first was Soren of Denmark) who proudly tells the judges he’s using a blend containing Edwin Martinez’s Finca Vista Hermosa of Guatemala. Big cheers come from he audience, where Edwin and his wife, Nina, are … Read more →

Competitors #6—#10

#6 NATIONAL CHAMPION OF NORWAY CHRIS KOLBU Chris is super smooth from the very beginning, obviously well versed in his coffee origins and characters. Chris used two coffees, one in his espresso and one in his cappuccino. For his signature drink, used both coffees, one as a foam and one … Read more →

Competitors #1—#5

#1 NATIONAL CHAMPION OF ARGENTINA MARIA ROGELIA RETAMOZO Right on schedule, the national champion of Argentina, Maria Rogelia Retamozo, took the stage. There are a few glitches as we come out of the gate here — like photographers leaning on Maria’s prep table (ahem!. But Maria is handling it with … Read more →

Counting Down the Minutes

Everyone’s accounted for here at the WBC event space. It’s just a matter of waiting until 11:45 a.m. when Argentina takes the stage. While we wait, here are some scenes from around the competition stage and the trade show… Above, the madness in the competitors prep area begins… Above, Team … Read more →

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