The day started off with a big bolt of energy in the form of Austrian champion, Goran Huber. “Simply said,” he said, “coffee is my life.” His passion for the bean and the craft of the barista was evident from the get go, and it was a great way to launch the 2007 World Barista Championship.
The barista champion from Suomi, or as some people call it, Finland, Jon Niemimaa, took the stage second, and he started the place rockin’ with a Red Hot Chilli Peppers soundtrack and a smooth shaved head.
Greek champion, Tasos Delichristos, brought a lot of heart to the stage and some very fine coffee, roasted in Norway by former WBC winner Tim Wendelboe.
The fourth competitor was Andrius Valiauga from the Emerald Isle of Ireland. He created some fine latte art with his cappuccinos.
Mexican champion Salvador Benitez Espinosa launched the competition into another level with a great performance (and was unphased by the nitrogen cartridge ban, utilizing the replacement machine without a problem.) But it was his signature drink built with a contraption that looked like it came straight out of science lab that made many people think he could be the first champion from a producing country to make the finals.
Colter Jones, the first Canadian champion to not be named Sammy Piccilo, did his countryman proud, however, and continued the tradition of terrific performances from the Great White North.
Next up was Carl Sara, the three time champion from New Zealand, who brought his own outlandish device to the stage for his signature drink, not to mention his roving band of supporters in their stylish All-Blacks uniforms.
Einar Holthe, the Norwegian competitor, certainly looked like he could continue the Norse tradition of winning world titles.