Written by Lori Thiessen
Pouring coffee may seem like a pretty low-end job, something you do while you go to school or wait to win the lotto, but oh contraire, mon frère. Being a barista is a serious business. So serious, in fact, that there is an annual championship competition to see who is the king (or queen) of coffee.
The World Barista Championship (http://www.worldbaristachampionship.com) began in 2000 and just held its 2008 competition in June in Copenhagen.
The reasons for holding this contest is, according to the WBC:
- To promote the growth, excellence & recognition in the Barista profession.
- To grow the Barista’s knowledge of and expertise in, the preparation and serving of specialty, espresso coffee through competitions.
- To promote the knowledge and consumption of specialty coffee to the consumer through the Barista.
- To become globally recognized as the premier World Barista Event in the coffee “calendar.”
To compete, a barista must make 4 espressos, 4 cappuccinos and 4 signature drinks that the individual barista has created. The judging is based on taste, creativity, cleanliness and presentation.
The World Barista Champion for 2008 is Stephen Morrissey from Dublin, Ireland. Mr. Morrissey received, aside from the honour of winning the competition, a La Marzocco GS/3 espresso machine and a Compak K-10 WBC espresso grinder.
Vancouver’s own, Michael Yung of Caffe Artigiano and the 2007 Canadian Barista Champion placed 5th.
The next Championship is going to be held in Atlanta Georgia in April 2009 during the 21st Annual Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Symposium and Exposition.
I’ll be gripping my mug in anticipation!
Trivia Corner: the plural of barista is baristi.
Until Next Time,
May your coffee always be freshly brewed!