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We reached out to each of the 2015 World Barista Championship competitors prior to their routines, to learn a bit more about them as competitors and coffee pros. We hope you enjoy these interviews!
Name: Charles Babinski
Country: United States of America
Number of years as a barista: 11 or 12
Number of competitions competed in: 12
US Barista Championship: mid to late 20s (2008), 5th (2010), 2nd (2012), 2nd (2013), 2nd (2014), 1st (2015)
Southwestern Regional Barista Competition: 2nd (2012), 2nd (2013), 1st (2014), 1st (2015)
Great Lakes Regional Barista Competition: 9th, (2008), 3rd (2010)
Competition Coffee: For the signature beverage and cappuccino courses, I will be using a coffee from Ocotillo, a farm in Santa Barbara, Honduras, roasted by 49th Parallel. For the espresso course, I do not know yet what I am going to serve.
Competition Milk: Not sure! Washington state has some tasty milks, so we will figure it out when we get up there.
Signature Beverage: As of right now, the signature beverage consists of a juniper syrup I’ve made, a grapefruit juice reduction, and pine tree honey. Add to espresso and blend it up.
Playlist: Alfred, a customer and friend who is also an amazing musician and DJ, put together my competition music.
Routine Theme: Embracing the larger systems of coffee at both the farm and coffee shop levels, and how those systems benefit (and make possible) smaller, independent agents.
Total Practice Hours: Through regionals, nationals and worlds, its definitely been a bit.
Coach/Coaches: I have a really great team of people who have helped me this year and over the years. Percy Ramirez is my coach and has been invaluable over the past few years. My sister, Katerina, is also an integral part of these competitions for me. Shes been coming to USBC and helping me out since Portland almost 4 years ago.