BARISTA CHAMPION OF EL SALVADOR
The first finalist of the 2014 World Barista Championship is William Hernandez, who hails from none other than Viva Espresso in San Salvador. Viva is known for producing champions—WBC Champ of 2011 Alejandro Mendez, to be precise. William charged onto the international coffee competition scene last year by taking third place at the WBC in Melbourne, and now he’s back to try for the crown again.
He’s got composure in spades, which is a good thing, as his is a complicated routine here on stage at the World Barista Championship finals in Rimini. He begins his performance by explaining how he’ll combine the science of coffee with the art of coffee. He then proceeds to introduce Le Whaf, which is essentially a coffee vaporizer. You can put any liquid into it and experience it as a vapor — pretty cool.
William gives each of his judges a whiff of vapor from the espresso he’s using, which is, of course, a Salvadoran coffee (roasted by Daniel Mendez, who was the Salvadoran Barista Champion in 2012, and also works at Viva).
After his espressos and some incredibly gorgeous cappuccinos, William proceeds to the artistic portion of his competition performance: painting a coffee tree branch onto an unfolded Chemex filter. He uses his ingredients—including espresso and kiwi—for his signature drink as the paints. He then refolds the filter, inserts it into the Chemex, and brews his coffee.
He comes in under time, and appears super happy with his performance. From the expression of his coach, Alejandro Mendez, everything went exactly as planned.