Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hungry For Competition

All people who follow the Barista Championships in Belgium know that Caffenation is a big fan of most of the Coffee competitions.
After participating by myself three years ago, we had Bird two years ago and last year Jessie and Katrien.
This year rookie Roeland is our man for the Barista Championships. Bird is going to show his skills at the Latte Art contest.

Very often I think by myself these competitions are consuming too much energy and time. And sometimes I'm even thinking of retiring.
But then, when a couple of months without any competition are passing by, the hunger comes back.

And so I was very anxious to move over to Hopland last Sunday for a session with Roeland.

The man is used to train by himself, and does all the hard work (prep, dishwashing, ...), but I am his trainer and when you train somebody new there's a lot of work to be done.

Before - two months ago - we went over the tactics. Simul Spro of not? One or two grinders? Music? Cappuccino's 2 by 2 or all 4 together? Theme? Sig drink tactics and so on and so on.
Then I did a 15 minute to give an example of how it works and then it's up to the Barista to exercise.

Last month Roeland did a couple of trainings by himself and one with me.

Now, we're 4 weeks away from semi finals and a lot of issues have been tackled.
Now it's time to train it dry. The theme is fixed. We have a blend. We have the lines. We have the milk. We have most of the music. We have Roeland working his way through the hundreds of rules. It's a lot of sweat with a drill instructor like me on the side line.

Biggest challenge and training labour for Roeland is to bring the lines like a veteran. Then a good quarter hour at the semis and working towards perfection for the finals October 1st.

This week Pauli from Germany is joining the team as a runner.
And Isabelle (Or) hopefully next Sunday for her first training at Hopland. Exciting.

After a couple of run throughs it's time for a Horse Ale at Kassa 4. Well deserved.

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