This past weekend, Bridgehead baristas travelled to the International Centre in Toronto to participate in the 2012 National Barista Competition.
For a synopsis of what the competition is all about, I invite you to go to http://worldbaristachampionship.com/ the world barista championship web site.
There were 14 competitors from across the country, and the presentations were fun, informative and professional. These 14 baristas had to first place top 4 in their respective regional competitions to quality for a spot on the national stage at the Canadian Coffee and Tea Show.
I’m thrilled to say that we had two competitors both qualify and do a remarkable job: Randy Hogg from our Preston Roastery Coffeehouse, and Craig Macleod from our Beechwood location.
Craig has only been a barista for a few months now, but has shown just how determined and passionate he is, holding his own as a national barista competitor. Please congratulate Craig when you see him!
Randy has only been a barista competitor for two years now, but has reached a significant goal this year of placing 3rd in a national competition that gets tougher every year. There were some tweaks to Randy’s signature drink this round as a result from feedback at the regional level, as well as looking at the speaking portion of his presentation to allow for a strong theme and concept. Randy used the stage this year to look at his coffee (Guatemala’s Tesoro de Conception from CODECH) as a case study for what a Fair Trade Organic coffee is capable of in a field of very high quality estate coffees.
I invite you to look at all the National presentations this year, as it was a strong, entertaining group of competitors that clearly took lots of time to refine and perfect their routines. You can access the performance video by looking at the archived footage.
The winner of the national competition is Australia bound, as the World Barista Championship is held in Melbourne next year. I’m excited to say our country will be represented by Jeremy Ho from Phil and Sebastian Coffee roasters. Randy was very close behind Jeremy, and Ben (also of Phil and Seb) who placed 2nd. These two (Ben and Jeremy) are veteran competitors, and this will be Ben’s 5th time placing 2nd at a national level. To be competing at the same level with these two is a huge achievement for Randy, and the whole Bridgehead team is proud of you Randy!
Thank you to the judging team! We had 3 Bridgehead staff participate in judging and they did a phenomenal job: Cliff Hansen – Our Roaster was a sensory judge, Ian Clark – Our Director of Coffee was a shadow head judge, and Brendan Butt – Who works at our Roastery, achieved becoming a technical judge on the national level this year.
A huge thank you goes out to everyone who helped by volunteering at the National Barista Championships. I’d like to mention that 5 out of the 7 volunteers were affiliated with Bridgehead, and really were the ones that made the competition run smoothly. I’m pleased to see the culture of volunteerism and passion for coffee evident in our staff. It’s awesome.
Competition Team Bridgehead