Wednesday, May 30, 2007

BBC Qualifications Report

Belgian Barista Championship Qualifications

Big day for all Belgian coffee lovers. At Bocholt Limburg 14 Barista were competing for a place at the BBC finals in Gent end November.
In this order :
1) François Knopes
2) Benny Smet
3) Dirk Janssens
4) Bert Van Wassenhove
5) Vincenzo Bongiorno
6) Miriam Bijnens
7) Rudy Gabriels
8) Detlev Battiau
9) Michel Veneziano
10) Vicky
11) Patrick Hanssen
12) Jeroen Clauwers
13) Bart De Puyt
14) Rudy Wanters

Lots of new faces. Of course they need some more competition practice, but better performances than expected.
François opened the competition with a blend made by his father who is a roaster in the province of Luxemburg. Tough call to start the event for a 20 year old rookie, but nice job it was.

Then Benny came on stage. 7th on world Coffee in Good Spirits finals last week and a fluent and fast show.

By then it was time to help my Caffènation Barista Bird to get ready for competition. Because of a lack of time we only practiced two 15 minutes shows. It showed. Things were not going all the way we wanted, but good extractions for a first timer. Good microfoam in the Cappuccini and a delicious Sig Drink for which he used two gassed infusions. One with the espressoshots and honey. The other with green tea, vanilla, chocolate, cocos and cream. Awesome. 23 seconds overtime but definitely good enough to advance to this years finals.

For the others i lost track a bit. I saw Detlev’s show. Very good! Besides of a couple of underextracted shots it was a big show to finish with a nougat, pistachio semi cold sig.

Michel is the cool hand guy from Kimbo and Jeroen Lavazza’s trainer and number two last year. Michel looked too laid back and couldn't get the shots running correctly.
Jeroen was his good old self. Good verbal presentation and an experienced Barista show.

And reigning this year semi finals was the Rombouts gang.
With Miriam as 'ancien' and Rudy and Vicky as new forces they gave us a big show.
I couldn't follow Vicky's whole show, but from what i saw she had great milk, a beautiful sig and she worked very precisely. Will she be this years favorite for the finals?

Way better level than last year’s finals and a good prep for the big work next november.
Only two questions : What's going on with the tamping? Almost all participants had coffee sticking to the sides of the filter basket. Throw away those Dalla Corte tampers guys and buy something decent!
And so many underextracted shots!! Is it the machine or grinder they're not used to? Or don't they dare to dose a bit higher?

Bird's shots running smoothly on the Dalla Corte 3-group.

Judge John scooping of foam from a Detlev Cappa.

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