Congratulations to Aleli Moreno Labastida, the new Mexican Barista Champion! Aleli is the first woman to ever win Mexico’s national barista title!
At once professional and adorable, Aleli won with a whopping score of 604 points. Not only that, but she was in first place going into the final round. Aleli has a secret weapon: Chava (former champion) is her boyfriend, and he helped to train her. But her natural talent and dedication to her craft are all her own. Aleli’s passion is so intense, as a matter of fact, that upon realizing she was the winner after the second-place barista’s name had been called, she fainted! It was quite a scare. The crowd rushed the stage, and Aleli’s mother and of course Chava were in tears. But she’s OK, not to worry. In fact, she’s more than OK — she’s a champion!!
I’ve got to rewind a bit with this post because we’ve been so busy and I’ve been remiss in posting… we left off on the evening of the fourth day, when I rushed out the door to join the group for dinner — and what a fabulous dinner it was! From that night through today’s finals, here are some snapshots I hope capture the spirit and wonderment that has been Mexico City and the Mexican Barista Championship…
Sonja posing with the lovely menu from the lovely San Angel Inn…
Here is our waiter making the incredible Cafe Diablo, which closed the meal for us.
It was Andrew Barnett’s birthday!
Here is Chava getting excited to watch Aleli’s performance!
All the competitors were called on to stage for the applause they so deserved, and then the finalists were announced!
And here are the finalists! From left to right: Carlos Delgado Delgado, Arturo Cuevas Ortiz, Aquiles Gonzales Pereyra, Aleli Moreno Labastida, Lancelot Macias Ferreyra, Alvaro Carrasco Lopez.
The dessert from our multi, multi course dinner at the amazing Spanish restaurant, Biko, last night.
Today (Saturday) we started the day by going to visit Chava’s cafe, Cafe Pasmar, which is also where Aleli works. But it was closed, I assume because all the employees wanted to watch Aleli in the finals. Still, we enjoyed wandering the market and seeing amazing sights, like this fruit stand…
Another stand sold all these different types of mole paste. YUM!
Creepy clown at the restaurant where we had lunch.
But the creepy clwon made balloon flowers for us girls. Nice, but still creepy.
And then we high-tailed it to the competition space! Look at the pretty tampers Reg Barber made for the finalists…
Finalist #1: Lancelot Macias Ferreya of Cafe Europa in Morelia, Michoacan.
Lancelot, above, works on his cappuccinos.
While waiting for the judges, Jose interviews Chava about his exprience as the 2x Mexican Barista Champion.
Finalist #2: Aquiles Gonzaleas Pereyra of Cafe Etrusca, Distrito Federal.
Aquiles presents the judges with his signature drinks.
Finalist #3: Arturo Cuevas Ortiz of Cafe Europa, Morelia Michoacan.
Arturo pours his cappuccinos.
Finalist #4: Aleli Moreno Labastido, Cafe Pasmar, Distrito Federal.
Aleli taking care of her sensory judges.
Finalist #5: Carlos Delgado Delgado, Independent, Distrito Federal.
Carlos prepares his cappuccinos.
Finalist #6: Alvaro Carrasco Lopez, a.k.a. the Mexican Jon Lewis. I absolutely loved this guy’s performance.
Alvaro pours his cappuccinos.
All the finalists pose together before the announcement of the winner.
WINNER: Aleli (604 points)
2nd place: Alvaro (560 points)
3rd place: Aquiles (545 points)
4th place: Lancelot (507 points)
5th place: Arturo (489 points)
6th place: Carlos (488.5 points)
It was a magnificent competition! Arturo, Jose and the many people who organized it, our hats are off to you. Thank you so much for letting me be a part of it all.
And now, I’m off to the barista party for some tequila and table dancing. Arriba!