World Barista Championship 2011

Good evening from Bogotá, Colombia!  Day three of the 2011 World Barista Championship has just wrapped up successfully and we now find ourselves in the position of anxiously awaiting the fourth and final day that will see a new World Barista Champion crowned.  Tomorrow one barista’s life will be changed forever, beginning with the incredible year of experiences lying ahead of them.

Our final round will feature the Champion Baristas from the following countries: The United Kingdom, El Salvador, The United States, Japan, Spain and Australia.  These baristas were the talented 6 to make the final round out of an initial army of 54 Champions from around the world.

This year’s WBC has been hosted quite successfully by Cafes de Colombia and the Specialty Coffee Association of Colombia.  The event is coinciding with a tremendously successfuly trade show called Expospeciales – a specialty coffee oriented show with booths ranging from exporters of excellent coffees, top range espresso and brewing equipment and even high end chainsaws and leaf blowers — we are in a producing country after all!  It’s been a blast so far — there appear to be thousands of people attending every day from both the professional crowd and from the curious public.  Colombians are excited about the success of the show as it will hopefully help to drive domestic consumption — a positive trend for farmers here.  Another reason they are proud is that their extraordinary barista champion, Lina Zea, did incredibly well in the WBC finishing in the top 12.  She brought the house down every time she performed and it was a real pleasure to experience the home crowd’s enthousiasm and support.

Another delightful bonus to this trip was the chance to run into Bridgehead Coffeehouse Manager Kyla Ramsey and her husband Jay McConnery.  They are finishing up 3 months of travel in South America and what better way to segway back into normal life than to attend the world’s premiere coffee competition!  Be sure to ask Kyla about her experiences when you next see her — she and Jay will be back home soon!

For more information on the happenings here in Bogotá I’ll recommend a few sites with photos and discussion:

Barista Magazine’s Pasteboard blog is being regularly updated with photos and discussion.

Sprudge.com is on top of the latest news, gossip and insider info.

Following the 2011 WBC – Unofficially  is also a reliable source of humour and images from the event.

Of course, if you want to watch the final round live you should head over to www.worldbaristachampionship.com for some high quality coverage.  The finals begin at around 1pm EST on Sunday June 5th.

See you all soon!

Ian

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