I’m sitting in my pajamas at home in Portland, Oregon, readjusting to Pacific Daylight Time and enjoying the company of my dog and cat after a week in Atlanta, Georgia, for the 10th World Barista Championship and SCAA Conference. It’s good to be home. Still, I can’t stop thinking of the excitement that took place over the past week in Atlanta, the history that was made in countless ways. The June/July 2009 issue of Barista Magazine will include extensive WBC and SCAA coverage, so be sure to check it out. In the meantime, I wanted to share some of the beautiful photos Ken took of some great moments of the week.
Before that, though, I need to interrupt this WBC coverage to give a HUGE shout out and congratulations to Ben Kaminsky of Barismo, who won the first ever United States Cup Tasting Championship.
(photo from barismo.com. coverage of ben’s win to come in the june/july barista mag)
Ben will go on to Cologne, Germany, in June to compete for the World Cup Tasting Championship title. Ben is a great guy, a serious coffee geek, and we’re proud to have him wear the coveted crown. Bravo, Ben!
And now, some WBC memories… it was a really terrific week, and an honor to see and meet some of the best baristas in the world, who all take their jobs as specialty coffee ambassadors very seriously. Congratulations to you all!
Competitors wait to hear who will move on to the final round…
Team Sweden representin’
Team USA representin’
Cosimo of Nuova Simonelli waiting on stage to shake the hands of the national barista champions.
Danish Barista Champion Morten chats with emcees Scott and Kyle. NOTE: I incorrectly posted in the write-up about Morten that he was trained by Klaus and Casper at the Coffee Collective. He was trained by Rasmus Seirup, a man he greatly admires!
National Barista Champions gather by the stage.
Sammy collects himself before his finals performance.
The answer to the Stephen Morrissey tshirt… (in case you didn’t know, the Stephen Morrissey tshirt features a screenprint of Stephen’s face with the words, “I’ve only had 15 to 20 good espressos in my life.” This shirt features Irish barista champion Colin Harmon’s face and the words, “I’ve had thousands of good espressos in my life.”
The crowd (including Team USA’s Head Cheerleader M’lissa Muckerman Owens) during Michael Phillips’ performance.
What they all covet…
World Barista Champions Summit: from left, 2008 WBC Champ Stephen Morrissey of Ireland; 2007 WBC Champ James Hoffmann of the UK; 2005 WBC Champ Troels Poulsen of Denmark; 2004 WBC Champ Tim Wendelboe of Norway; 2002 WBC Champ Fritz Storm of Denmark.
The judges open the envelopes containing signature drink ingredients during Gwilym’s performance. They are to choose one of four (each envelope contains a different set of four) ingredients and Gwilym will create the signature drink from those ingredients.
James speaks with UK Champ (and now WBC Champ) Gwilym Davies just after his performance. Gwilym used coffee from James’ company, Square Mile Coffee, the coffee which—roasted by Anette Moldvaer—has won now 3 WBC Championships.
WBC Finalists are announced in order of hat preference. Just kidding. But Attila of Hungary (right) and Gwilym of the UK do get a kick out of their matching caps.
The ingredients for Gwilym’s incredibly creative and challenging signature drink, which was completely left up to chance as the judges would actually select the ingredients for Gwilym to combine with his espresso.
2002 WBC Champion Fritz Storm of Denmark (who serves on the WBC Board of Directors and Judges Certification Committee) addresses the crowd.
I’ve no idea how Lucey wrangled the camera away from Ken, but lad he did—love these trademark Lucey shots.
Team Guatemala cheers on Raul Rodas, who placed 7th. This is MONUMENTAL—2009 is the first year that baristas from Central America have broken into the top 10, with Raul’s 7th place rank, and also Flor of El Salvador taking 9th place. Cheers, Central America!
Crowd scene on the morning of the finals.
Lee Jong of Korea is a really great guy!
Team Ireland! Colin’s family was on hand to cheer him on.
Colin smiles with relief after a terrific finals performance.
Mike Phillips is such an awesome guy! And a damn great barista. He really seemed to be enjoying himself on stage.
Team Korea gets ready to cheer on Lee Jong.
A true professional, Attila of Hungary is perfectly composed in front of the enormous crowd gathered at the finals.
Later, Attila of Hungary congratulates Gwilym of the UK on his big win.
James gives Gwilym a big hug after his finals performance.
Gwilym and Mike of the U.S. tell each other they’ve been honored to share the stage with one another.
Gwilym in the moment.
Gianni and Cosimo of Nuova Simonelli congratulate Gwilym.
Sammy of Canada wins second place. He is an ever-gracious competitor, and it’s obvious Gwilym thinks so, too, as they hug each other with mutual respect.
The world welcomes Gwilym Davies of the UK as the 2009 World Barista Champion. Congratulations, Gwilym!!!