The WBC board organized a barista meet and greet event tonight at the hotel many of the competitors are staying at in Tokyo. It was a new addition to this year’s WBC. All the competing baristas and their coaches (or friend, amigo, partner, whathaveyou) were invited to enjoy some sake, beer, wine, snacks and each other’s company. That last part was the main ingredient. It was a very informal affair where the various national champions were encouraged to take a moment, enjoy where they are and share the time with other national champions.
Klaus Thompsen gave a very nice and informative sort of pep talk for the competitors, asking them to savior the moment, recognize the hard work they’d put in to make it this far, and step back from the practice, repetition and hours, weeks, months, years of dedication they’ve given of themselves to make it this far. “Think about what you want to feel about this time,” he said, “five years from now. I hope you’ll say it was one of the best times of your life.”
Then every competitor was invited to come autograph a big WBC sign. It was very cool.
Meanwhile, in a shameless step of self-promotion, I gave the Kenyan national champion, John Muli Makau, a copy of well, you see: