Article by Heather Farrell
Photos courtesy of Unión MicroFinanza
Honduras has chosen its representative for this year’s World Barista Championship, and he is taking on the task with enthusiasm.
José Luis Herrera Madrid, 26, of Café La Estancia defended his title, winning for a second year the Honduras National Barista Championship, which took place March 28-29 in Santa Rosa de Copán.
Herrera described how he was feeling after winning the competition: “really, very excited.” But it comes with much responsibility, he said, because he will be representing the people of Honduras at the World Barista Championship, to be held in June in Rimini, Italy.
The top six competitors in the Honduran championship were:
First place: José Luis Herrera Madrid — Café La Estancia
Second place: Jorge Aníbal Ventura — Espresso Café
Third place: Gloria Desiree Lara — Café La Taza
Fourth place: Sophia Alejandra Valle Ochoa — Café Rural Seis Valles
Fifth Place: Josué Guzman – Kaldis Koffee Shop
Sixth Place: Lourdes Villeda — Café Capucas
Scott Conary, president of Carrboro Coffee Roasters and head judge at the competition, was impressed by this year’s competition: “it kind of blew up,” he said, “and the baristas were better than ever.”
“It was somewhat the locale — the public was able to see something they never saw before,” Conary said. “Before, it was kind of behind closed doors, but this one had energy.”
Part of this energy came from the event’s master of ceremonies: Italian barista champion Francesco Sanapo, who said he will be awaiting Herrera’s arrival at the world championship in Italy. Sanapo, combined with a sizeable audience, brought life to the event. Head Judge Conary hopes that Honduras will “keep the energy going and transfer it” to future barista competitions.
The origin country has a small but growing coffee-shop culture, exhibited by the increased interest and energy at this year’s barista competition. It seemed fitting that this fifth national championship took place in a Honduran city often associated with coffee for its multiple beneficios and specialty coffee shops.
Patrick Hughes, president of Unión MicroFinanza, served as a sensory judge for the Honduran competition. “It isn’t just the winner who represents Honduran coffee, but all of the competitors who work every day to give pride to their customers for Honduras’ outstanding coffee,” Hughes said.
Wendy Rodriguez of the Honduran Coffee Institute IHCAFE, which organized the competition, said she is looking forward to the world barista competition. The country’s hope is to win on a global scale: “I think this year, Honduras will achieve it,” she said.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR—Heather Farrell works as media director for Unión MicroFinanza and lives in La Unión, Lempira, Honduras. When she is not taking photos on coffee fields or around town, she is playing violin, teaching an English class, or drinking coffee with friends.