Wednesday, April 15, 2009

WBC 2009 Predictions

Dear coffee friends,

Last year I had a 4 out of 6 in my predictions for the finals. Not bad, not bad at all (dixit Laboratoria).
And after the qualifications I predicted Stephen to win.

This year it's going to be tough to score as high in my predictions. But, I'll try.

Starting with the easy part : the veterans.
Everybody knows the class of Carl Sara and Salvatore 'Sammy' Piccolo. Only bad luck can get them in the audience in stead of on stage next Sunday.

Then the home Barista and Intelligentsia forwarder Michael 'Mike' Phillips. If I have to pick one name ; it's his. But is he able to handle the stress? We'll see.

Three down, three more to tackle.
It's easy to pick the guys from Scandinavia. And it's easy to pick the Square Mile man. But my 4th man - yes I predict a male festival - is the Hungarian Barista Champ Attila Molnar.
He has this furious first name, experience (11th last year), great coaching (Fritz S.) and good coffee.

Two places left and we didn't talk about Belgium and Holland yet.

Sander Schat, representing our Dutch Neighbours, especially moved to a new apartment where a championship set up - including the Simonelli Aurelia - was placed right in the middle. This is a pro surrounded by a very good, experienced team and great Bocca coffee. I wish him all the luck, but the finals ...... I'm afraid not. Top 10? Maybe.

Melanie Nunes is our lovely Belgian Champ and trained by veteran Peter Deprez. Peter never fails, but Melanie is probably not experienced enough to make it to the finals. Top 20 is the goal, everything better would be a bonus. Good luck Melanie.

Let's go back to Denmark, Sweden and England.
Morten Vestenaa represents Denmark. He got the perfect coaching (by Danish former w-champs !), experience and maybe the most interesting coffee of the pack ; the Bagersh Idido Aricha - a type of coffee I talked about in my previous post about awkward beans and roasted by Championship Specialist roaster Peter Dupont. That should be good enough.

The Swedish Barista is Mattias Björklund. He got the looks, a sizzling +700 points at the SBC in Stockholm, Swedish know how, the beans - a Daterra-Beloya blend!!!! - and the looks. That should be good enough.

UK Champ Gwilym Davis : the oldest of the pack. But this shouldn't be a disadvantage. He got self confidence, a Square Mile roast - winner last 2 years!!!, an Anfim Super Caimano and the best trainer in the world. That's more than good enough.

Morten is not going to make it. He takes 7th place. Is the Aricha a bit too wicked? No, it's just a wild guess.

We'll see it all from tomorrow on. At the website : you can find the schedule and much more.
For covering the competition ; keep an eye on the Barista Mag blog (see link list).

Have fun, speak to you soon.
Your reporter : Antwerp Barista.

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