I was totally blown away with the level of education and training offered at DC Campus—the annual event hosted by Dalla Corte Espresso Systems in its stunning Milan, Italy loft space—when I attended last year in May of 2013, which was the second time the event has taken place. Organized as a forum for the national champions competing in the World Latte Art and World Coffee In Good Spirits Championships, DC Campus aims to not only teach and educate attendees to the 3-day workshop, but to provide an opportunity for community to be built among the champion baristas, as well.
Truly, DC Campus is about sharing. The baristas who attended in 2013 showed up to work hard, learn from one another, and share whatever helpful tips they had of their own. By the end of it, the group was completely bonded as friends and coffee community. And it was wonderful to see them all come back together in support of each other when those international championships took place in Nice, France, in June of 2013.
Why does Dalla Corte host this event (which, by the way, is free to the champions to attend)? It began because Dalla Corte is the Official Espresso Machine Sponsor of the WLAC and WCIGS championships. But when I asked Paolo Dalla Corte about his intentions for the program when I was with him at DC Campus last year, he was determined that the event would continue for as long as Dalla Corte was involved as a sponsor, because it seems so important to the baristas. They have a chance to shine and motivate each other, and Paolo understands the importance of that.
Now, the third DC Campus event is set to begin: in just a little over two weeks, baristas who are their country’s national champions in latte art and coffee in good spirits will come together at Via Candiani 127 in Milano for training, team building, and excitement. They will be working in preparation for the 2014 WCIGS and WLAC, which are taking place in Melbourne, Australia, May 15–18.
Among this year’s star guests who will help the champions train for competition during DC Campus:
• Hisako Yoshikawa, the reigning World Latte Art Champion, who hails from Ogawa Coffee in Kyoto, Japan.
• Victor Delpierre, the reigning World Coffee In Good Spirits Champion, who is an indepedent consultant and does a lot of work with Cafes Richard in Paris, France.
The six finalists from the 2013 WCIGS and the WLAC will all be in attendance. This group includes Italian powerhouses Chiara Bergonzi (latte art) and Francesco Corona (good spirits), both of whom were finalists in 2013 and are once again the champions in their respective categories this year.
And the event wouldn’t be complete without Sonja Grant, the chief judge and a trainer in both latte art and coffee in good spirits, who will teach the DC Campus attendees about each rule in detail, help them to smooth out their routines, and help motivate this talented group of barista champions.
It must be noted that DC Campus would not take place each year without the tireless work of Antonella Cutrona of Dalla Corte. I was inspired and in awe of the amount of dedication and effort that Antonella put into the production of 2013’s incredibly successful event. No doubt, 2014’s DC Campus will go down in history, as well.
Stay tuned to Barista Magazine’s blog from April 11–13, as I will once again be attending DC Campus, and blogging throughout about all the excitement taking place in Milan.