Hi everyone – we’re half way through this year’s barista championship here in Bogota, Colombia and I thought I would finally grab a moment to send everyone back home an update. I’ve been desperate to find the right combination of appropriate time and headspace to summarize some of the lessons from this year’s Let’s Talk Coffee event in Tarapoto, Peru. I promise this will come soon! For the moment I haven’t much time but I would like to share a brief story that demonstrates how small our world has become.
Last night the international judges – an experienced team from Mexico, the USA, Canada, Brazil that is here to help train the national judges – as well as some other coffee folks from Colombia, Switzerland and Mexico were out enjoying a dinner at quite a remarkable restaurant on the mountains about 400m above Bogota. To reach this restaurant one has to take a cable-car up the mountain, and naturally one has to take it back down again after dinner.
Here we were all piling into the cable car in the cold Colombian night and a certain Canadian was called out for being chilled by the weather despite his upbringing. Well I launched a steady defense of my intolerance to the cold but before I could finish a fellow at the back of the cable car called out “Who up there is from Canada?”.
Not only was this other gentleman (Stan was his name) from Canada, but he was also from Ottawa. The Beechwood area to be specific. He was in the country on government business and had been out to the same restaurant with a Colombian associate. Naturally the conversation lead to “what are you doing here?” and I explained that we were all in the coffee business and were in Bogota for the national barista championship. He asked where I worked, and I replied with the question “Have you heard of Bridgehead?”.
Well it turned out that not 10 minutes before our running into each other Stan and his Colombian associate had been chatting all about coffee and about Bridgehead specifically.
What an amusing encounter. The world is inhabited by almost 7 billion people and many individuals in that cable car live in cities of almost 20 million, but for a moment there the world seemed extremely small.
You can watch the Colombian Barista Championship live at
The finals will be Sunday starting around 1PM EST!