Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day 3 at the WBC Atlanta

A group photo of the 2009 finalists.
From left to Right :
Sammy Piccolo for Canada.
Michael Phillips for USA
Gwilym Davis for UK
Attila Mornar for Hungary
Colin Harmon for Ireland
Lee Jong Hoon for Korea.

Melanie Nunes for Belgium 27th.
Sander Schat for The Netherlands 34th.

What did we notice :
6 out of 6 : Men (a shame)
5 out of 6 : Made the cappuccino's 2 by 2 (I think)
4 out of 6 : Predicted by Antwerp Barista (not bad, not bad at all)
3 out of 6 : Anfim Super Caimano grinder (every year one more and 6 by 2012)
2 out of 6 : Ethiopian coffee beans from Bagersh (proof is in the pudding)
1 out of 6 : Asia (is on the rise)
0 out of 6 : Scandinavia (remarkable after their dominance over those first 10 years)

Ireland suprized me, but when I heard later on he used these fantastic Bolivia Machacamarca ; Stephen's favourite coffee I wasn't so shocked anymore. But it wasn't him who picked this bean. Colin picked it blind out of 14 beans presented to him. I was willing to buy in some of these greens the other week ; now it think it was a mistake I didn't do it. I hope there will be some left after this championship. I'll ask him tomorrow if he can put some on the side for Caffenation.

And so Vince Piccolo promised me to give a bag of Sammy's coffee tomorrow. It's a blend of Costa Rica's Herbazu and the very popular Yirgacheffe Aricha. Good pick. Is he the main favourite for the finals? No, it's still the next guy :

Michael Phillips used a Rwanda I tasted at the Intelligentsia booth. They made me a double ristretto I found a tad too strong and overwhelming ; why aren't those American's serving any single/normal shots anymore? I regret!
I missed his performance by accident, but it must have been overwhelming. Curious for Sunday.

Lee John Hoon from Korea came out of nowhere. Afterwards I heard from Liesbeth (last year's number 3 - so she knows something about this competition) he had excellent technique. Must be if you're able to handle the 2 portafilters at the same time for dosing, distributing and tamping!!!! Way to go Lee.

Gwilym Davis had a terrific signature drink. It was very interactive and spontaneous. He ran almost out of time, he was very nervous and his espresso's seemed to be kinda small (25 mil said James although they looked smaller - must have been the type of cups...), but it's a worthy finalist and in the mood for a top 3.

Attila Mornar was my outsider for the finals and he did it. Congrats Attila, this should boost the specialty scene in Hungary.

Melanie finished in the middle of the pack for Belgium. She lost a lot on inconsistency. His first shots always ran too long. Strange. I know some people do not like simul spro, but it's a sure thing it keeps the extractions a lot closer to one another.
Also bad points for coffee taste in the signature drinks, but very high scores in techniques and presentation. Good job Melanie and well deserved.

Sander was disappointing for Holland. He lost a lot of points on almost every aspect, but mostly on his very complex signature drink. Nice chap who deserves way better. Maybe next year Sander ; 'kop op'!

So now we're of to the Counter Culture evening for a good beer and chat with Barista friends from all over the world.
Tomorrow report from the finals.
After tomorrow a brief overview from my most interesting encounters at the Fare.

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