Everyone knows that the Olympic Games are held every four years, but did you know that the World Champion of Coffee is crowned annually? Not just a means of waking up and remaining alert in the office anymore, coffee now serves as the basis of the World Barista Championship.
But since you can't hire the World Barista Champion to live in your office, OfficeCoffee.com, famous for connecting the business community with the best coffee-related news and services available in a specified location free of charge, is proud to present this year's contest results.
This year's World Barista Championship was the 7th annual held during the SCAE (Specialty Coffee Association of Europe) World Specialty Coffee Conference. Their yearly exhibition and workshop in Berne, Switzerland runs from May 19-21.
The 2006 winner was Klaus Thomsen of Denmark who dazzled judges with his coffee based beverage originality and creativity. A competitor from the United States, Matthew Riddle, became one of only a handful of North Americans ever to place among the top competitors, finishing third.
Competitors from around the world gain entrance to the World Competition through sanctioned WBC competitions. The guidelines are simple: each competitor is given the opportunity to prepare 12 drinks; 4 espressos, 4 cappuccinos, and 4 of their own signature beverages. As long as there is no alcohol included, and everything is espresso based, drink recipes are open to personal interpretation and style. Competitors not only express their artistic ability through sensory flavors, but also have the opportunity to impress the judges visually through latte art.
Unlike the beans, which must be consistent, artwork does not have to remain the same through the four drinks. In addition to the quality of the beverage, contestants are evaluated on their presentation and coffee machine cleanliness. Judging parameters are strict and amateurs are weeded out very quickly.
Combined with the large crowd of spectators and a strict 15-minute time limit, competing in the WBC is a very serious endeavor, indeed. It's a good thing competitors now have 12 more months to practice their coffee craft.
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