Although jet lag seems to be over I can't sleep tonight.
So a good time to write a post about the World Barista Championships I attented last week in Bogota Colombia.
First I give you some links from posts written about important players and top experts.
Theotherblackstuff : David Walsh his view on things. He works for Marco and helped to build and run the brew bar. This time lapse tells it all, and watch the funny tall man in working gear behind the bar in the afternoon of day 3 - it's Bert and the only one to recognize ;-)
At least David has the best photo's!
Jimseven : world's most popular coffee blogger, and co MC, again writes a nice one. And he has all the right to speak as he delivered, again, a coffee for the finals. 6th place. Believe me, that's very good. And a good post from James.
Hasbean : a long, emotional and very well fonded post by Steven Leighton. After having a couple of coffee's in a couple of finals he shot the main bird this year with delivering the right one for Alejandro - why nobody writes his surname? - Mendez from El Salvador.
Now we know again why we asked this man several times to deliver us the right coffee for the Belgian Championships. Unfortunately he didn't find us the right one last year and we sourced somewhere else - probably the main reason Isabelle didn't win. :-(
Congrats with this stunning result Steve.
Was this the best WBC ever?
First of all it was the first at origin.
And that was a fantastic idea.
There were 200 persons going on a WBC sponsored Trip to origin, but also a lot of other coffee professionals and amateurs combined coffee fields with the championship.
Because Colombia has fantastic coffee's, very sweet and friendly inhabitants and beautiful farms. Bert and I attented this great cupping - slurpurama - event at the El Roble Hacienda. As you read before.
The coffee fare at the Corferia in Bogota was totally different from what we were used to. With over 500000 (!) farms in this country we saw a lot of farmers here. Most stands displayed wet mills in stead of espresso machines.
A bit boring for most European coffee people, but seeing this you start respecting the farmers more then ever.
This trip was a good way to learn and appreciate Colombian coffee a whole lot more. All Colombian coffee's in the Antwerp harbour is 2nd grade at its best, but mostly less than that. From the 30+ coffee's I cupped last week, at least 25 of them were better than the best Colombia presented by the traders we work with.
Time to get them to Caffenation of course. I think we met the right coffee people to buy some of these beauty's and display the soon at our bars.
The championship was as predicted a competition between the UK, USA and Aussie champ on one side and the Asians and Coffee Origin Champs at the other side. This last side I didn't mention up front, but luckily there was Peter Deprez in the comments to remember us the coffee producing country's are getting better by the year. 6 producing country's with the last 12!!!! And no Scandinavia, Canada or Belgium.
A pity the Belgium team didn't find the right bean to stun the jury. Who picked this Nepal? Not the best of idea's and a disappointing 36th place for Kathleen.
I saw half of the semi finals performances - missed Alejandro M - and tipped Japan to win. She performed less good in the finals and fell back from 2nd to the 5th place.
The winner used 100% coffee in his performance and served the espresso's without crema - wow!. Who wants to see how can click this link. And with commentary this year - great idea!
Was this the best WBC ever?
Uhm, This one was my 4th trip to the WBC and I would fully answer with a 'Yes'. For a lot of things mentioned above, but also this comp was far away from home for most of the people and therefor I saw a better bonding. I'm very proud and happy I was one of them. The coffee world is such a fantastic world to live in. In Colombia we saw all coffee people sharing and enjoying all this coffee info and that's how it should be.
Colombia and the WBC thanks.