The Best Baristi in the World
A barista is a person who prepares coffee beverages in a Coffee Shop or Café. His or her occupation is to create the perfect espresso. The barista has comprehensive knowledge and great experience on various kinds of coffee beans and roasts. He / She also has the technical abilities needed to master the espresso machines and “create” different coffees (expresso, cappuccino, caffé latte etc.) and coffee drinks.
Baristas consider the extraction of coffee as a kind of art and they in fact perform in front of their clients, each time they prepare an espresso, a coffee, a caffe latte or a caffe mocha. The ultimate title to win is the World Barista Champion.
The World Barista Championship was initially held in 2000 in Monte Carlo and it ended up being quickly a public occasion where the very best baristas from various countries fought for espresso making supremacy.
The World Barista Championship happens every year in a different country and the challengers are the winners of the nationwide barista competitions.
In the United States the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) hosts several local barista competitions.
There are ten areas, and each state has actually been assigned to a region. Regional competitions and challenges are sponsored by companies. The winner of each of the regional events has the opportunity to take part at the US Barista Championship and impress and persuade there the jury for his barista skills and technics. There are numerous barista competitors in Europe and the United Kingdom. Canada, Australia and Central America. They are mostly the “baristi” winners from the regional, local and national challenges.
In a barista competition, the judges have to evaluate both, the competitors and the coffee beverages they make. The requirements based upon which they score each barista include the quality and taste of the beverage, personal discussion, technique as well as the presentation of the coffee beverage.
The baristas race versus the clock as they are just enabled to perform for 15 minutes.
After serving their drinks, baristas have 15 minutes to clean their station before they make space for another candidate. The espresso makers take part in the competitions are the key to the taste of the coffee.
Throughout the 15 minute performance interval baristas have to prove their abilities by preparing 4 espressos, 4 cappuccinos and 4 signature drinks.
Four judges have to taste the quality of the beverages samples and each one of the coffee drinks. While preparing the drinks, the “barista”, they have also to present their work, providing information about the components they utilized to the audience. They have to deal with the judges, as they were guests in a coffeehouse, too. Everybody now can imagine the stress the competitors have during this challenge.
After the espressos and coffees which are finished with latte art (complex styles drawn atop the cup with lathered milk by using the pitcher), the time comes for the signature coffee beverage. It is the competitor’s original creation and this is where baristas expose their creativity and skills combining roasts, syrups, frothing and steaming milk and utilizing all sorts of ingredients and flavours that turn their drinks into tasty masterpieces. The baristas can spend even months to develop this perfect drink that can bring them the success in a competitors.
Troels Poulsen , the 2005 World Barista Championship winner, developed a beverage called ESB, as in “improved sensory balance” by integrating melted pepper-gel, espresso and lavender syrup.
Phuong Tran, the 2005 USA Barista Champion, was influenced by her youth in producing the Crimson Sage, a beverage made of sugar walking cane juice, white pepper powder and steamed milk instilled with sage leaves. She said that as a child she enjoyed drinking sugar walking stick juice with ice and she always dreamed of using it in a drink.
Sammy Piccolo, the 2004 Canadian Barista Championship winner, created Insieme by utilizing raw sugar, egg yolks, curry, bittersweet chocolate and milk.
Bronwen Serna, USA Barista Champion of 2004, entitled her signature drink
“Sweetness” due to the fact that the main secret ingredient was honey.
Baristas (normally the right name in plural is “Baristi”) train hard for these competitions, specifically if they have the opportunity to take part in the World Barista Championship. And when they win this challenge they remain unforgettable, their name and coffee drink, in the “Coffee History”.