2015 World Barista Championship Day One Recap


SprudgeLive’s coverage of the 2015 World Barista Championship is made possible by direct support from Nuova Simonelli and VIora Lid. All of SprudgeLive’s 2015 barista competition coverage is underwritten in partnership with Square and Urnex Brands

We’re proud to serve as official media partners of World Coffee Events.

This is a recap of Round One, Day One action at the 2015 World Barista Championship, happening April 9th-12th in Seattle, Washington.

Information below has been compiled from the @SprudgeLive livetweet feed. Want to use our photos? Email us! 

1. Dmytro “Dima” Griekhov (Café Rider, United Arab Emirates)

Dmytro Griekhov - UAE 001

“Good morning, I’m Dimitry! As a barista I’m always looking to go the extra mile.” — Dmytro “Dima” Griekhov of @caferiderdxb UAE

Strong, mouthwatering finish of Bergamot” in Mr. Griekho’s Ninety Plus Panama Geisha espressos

Fermented cascara made from the same coffee he’s serving — that’s a #wbc2015 sig drink from Dmytro Griekhov and Cafe Rider.

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Originally from the Ukraine, Dmytro Griekhov was the 2009 Ukrainian Coffee In Good Spirits champ. #wbc2015 is his first WBC appearance.

Feel the aroma of morning dew & farm—between the mountains—flowers everywhere.” Sig drink poetry from Mr. Griekhov

2. Martin Shabaya (Artcaffé Coffee and Bakery, Kenya)

Martin Shabaya - Kenya 009

Mr. Shabaya’s coffee comes from Nyeri, Karatina in Kenya — it’s an SL34 grown near Mt. Kenya

cardamom, simple syrup, and red ripe grapes — “an enchanting flavor combination”– in Martin Shabaya’s #wbc2015 sig drink

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WBC is inherently a global affair. Here’s cutting edge Kenyan specialty coffee professionalism from Martin Shabaya &

With coffee, just like life, take it one sip at a time.” Martin Shabaya, folks. competitor #2 at 8:51 AM Day One

3. Stefanos Paterakis (Taf, Greece)


This is Stefanos Paterakis’ first WBC appearance, in his first season as a barista competitor.

Mr. Paterakis competes at with ‘s Finca Kilimanjaro Kenya process, from El Salvador

We asked Stefanos Paterakis if he had any secret weapons at and he told us: “I am Greek.”


for a sig drink Mr. Paterakis is building a siphon pot full of complex ingredients, including coffee flowers & cherries

For Cappuccinos, Stefanos Paterakis brought organic milk all the way from Greece! Maybe will be the weekend of global milks.

4. Julieta Vazquez Rivera (Arandela Barra de Café, Mexico)


Julieta Vazquez Rivera competes with a Red Honey processed coffee from Finca Chelin, Oaxaca, México.

red sugar sweetness, citric acidity, a delicate mouthfeel and stone fruit flavors, peaches & plums”

Not 100% sure what’s happening but it appears of is playing some kind of klezmer / ranchero fusion music.


“peaches, pineapples and mangos” in ‘s cappuccinos here at

Sig drink for includes sweet orange syrup, red apple syrup, tonic Water and cold espresso.

5. José De La Peña (Tecnochef, Guatemala) 


“aftertaste like white chocolate” in Jose De La Pena’s espressos. What is white chocolate, exactly? Not real chocolate? Why not?

Pacamara variety coffee being used here from Mr. De La Pena of Guatemala’s Technochef.


sig drink for Mr. De La Pena happens in stages, using ingredients like brown sugar and pacamara coffee

Hario v60 on top of a Chemex for this signature drink. Jose De La Pena’s passing beverages through ice filters to play with flavor.

6. Natalia Piotrowska (3fe, Ireland)


Natalia Piotrowska competes at w/ coffee from Bolivia & producer Rosenda Melgar, washed Typica variety.

This a farm and farmer-focused competition routine from here at — taking us to Bolivia and sharing knowledge

“green grape acidity and pearl-like texture” in ‘s espressos


sig drink for takes grape reduction, pear reduction with celery salt, sparkling water and Bolivian espresso

“coffee production in Bolivia may be on the brink, but they have everything it takes to be remarkable.”

7. Addison Dale (Pure Café Co., New Zealand)


Mr. Dale’s coffee comes from a microclimate in Huila, Colombia — “medium to high sweetness, bright juicy acidity, soft bitterness”

The Kiwi competitor Addison Dale serves his espressos in “small bowls” to enhance aromatics.


“The cappuccino…is visual and tasty.” — Addison Dale of in New Zealand dropping cappuccino bombs of truth.

Sig drink for Addison Dale includes a demarera syrup and cocoa syrup, with shots extracted directly on top.

8. Alexander Hansen (Collaborative Coffee Source, Norway)


Mr. Hansen competes with coffee roased by , sourced by from Santa Barbara, Honduras

Sig drink for Mr. Hansen — Coffee cherries from Honduras, paired green raisins, juiced and filtered.


“expect notes of butterscotch and Brazil nuts” in Alexander Hansen’s capps

We asked Mr. Hansen of why he’d make a great champ: “I´m a bond maker, flavour seeker & have deep coffee passion.”

9. Søren Stiller Markussen (GreatCoffee, Denmark)


“Is coffee chemistry? Or is it based on emotions? For me the answer is clear: it’s both” — of Denmark at

has twice appeared on Finals Sunday at the WBC, in 2008 and 2010. He’s among the most experienced competitors at

Mr. Stiller tested no fewer than 5 northwest milks for his routine after arriving in Seattle. Thassalotta milk!


capp notes for include “muscovado sugar and vanilla”

very complex yet deceptively simple sig drink from includes verbena in candyfloss, wood sorrel, and espresso

10. Adam Neubauer (EMA Espresso Bar, Czech Republic)


For espresso Mr. Neubauer of Czech Republic is using a coffee from Huila, Colombia — he’s brewing at a 55% ratio

The dominant notes in Mr. Neubauer’s espressos are “tamarind and marzipan”


We’re shifting over to Salvadoran espresso for Mr. Neubauer’s espressos — “milk chocolate, blueberries”

sig drink for Adam Neubauer: salted caramel, Colombian espresso, a filtered natural espresso extraction, tamarind syrup on the rim

11. Jesica Avalos Contreras (OR Coffee Roasters, Belgium)

Jessica Contreras competes with a red bourbon coffee from Rwanda, our first Rwandan coffee of the day here at

“licorice spice, a long aftertaste…a very sweet cappuccino” from Jessica Avalos Contreros.

We’ve got some fresh-made caramel on stage here for Jessica Avalos Contreras—she’s riffing on the Maillard reaction.

sig drink for Jessica Avalos Contreras includes licorice, espresso, and caramel

12. Diego Fernando Campos Guzman (Vive Café, Colombia)

Mr. Guzman is competing with coffee from the Huila region of Colombia, his home country.

Great script here from Diego Guzman of Colombia — firmly in control of his judges verbally, a standout routine so far.

Competitors from origin countries competing with homegrown coffees is one of the great traditions here at but it’s no gimmick.

sig drink for Mr. Guzman of Colombia: grapefruit juice formed into an “ice ball”, espresso, “traditional coffee” and white sugar

13. Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood (Colonna & Small’s, United Kingdom)


This routine is a mirror of Mr. Colonna-Dashwood’s UKBC winning routine from just a month or so ago. Read about Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood’s UKBC win here, in this spotlight feature from our live UKBC coverage.

specific language of the score sheet…breaking the fourth wall” — Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood talks scores with his judges. “can we definitely say that a coffee has a blackberry acidity? raspberry? there is no defining authority.”


espresso notes for — “red apple, blackberry, dark chocolate, brown sugar” plus a “tannic acidity” like that in red wine; “this coffee has its own unique terroir” — wine stuff.

sig drink: walnut bitters, brown sugar syrup, arrow root syrup, Gaitana Colombia espresso — “an elaborate cocktail…at its heart, it’s about synergy”

14. Kalle Freese (Freese Coffee Co., Finland)


We published a spotlight feature on ‘s Finnish Barista Championship win just yesterday over on Sprudge.

2 coffees for both by —natural bourbon from Finca La Ilusion, El Salvador, & Geisha & Nyika mix from Malawi — yes, Malawi!


Notes of bright grapefruit, pineapple, peach and cacao” in ‘s espressos

“Kalle’s special bitters” with cacao, bergamot & peach kernals, and mango puree

15. Daniel Rivera (Hacienda San Pedro, Puerto Rico)


20 grams in, 40 grams out for Mr. Rivera’s espressos — he roasted this coffee personally for this routine.

caramel notes with chocolate…a hint of cinnamon in the crema, and roasted hazelnut in the finish”


Daniel Rivera’s sig drinks are served in Glencairn glasses, the traditional glassware of Scotch whisky.

16. Vaiva Maskovaite (Caravan Coffee Roasters, Lithuania)


Ms. Maskovaite’s perfomance is centered around “blends in a single origin world.”

Her blend, you ask? 60% La Esperanza Nicaragua, 20% Ethiopia natural, and 20% Colombia washed.


For her first course, Ms. Maskovaite has opted for cappuccino. Notes of caramel and butter pastry.

Agave syrup infused, malic acid, xanthan gum & cold brew Nicaragua served in chilled soapstone for the sig bev.

“Please wait until I call time to taste the espresso,” Ms. Maskovaite requests of the judges.

17. Charles Babinski (Go Get Em TigerG&B, United States)


This is Charles Babinski’s first career World Barista Championship appearance.

Mr. Babinski competes with Ocotillo, washed process, from Santa Barbara, Honduras — just 3.5 hectares! That’s tiny. “This is a complex coffee, with raisin-y and vanilla-like sweetness”

sig drink for includes pine tree honey, aromatic juniper spice, and juniper syrup, aerated in a blender


“coffee shops have historically relied on systems that facilitate volume” — ‘s comparing farms and cafes. the larger systems of coffee, at both the farm & the cafe, benefit and make possible smaller, independent agents.

“when you get caught up reading coffee people on Twitter, it’s easy to lose perspective.”


@charlesbabinski “candied lemon, earl grey tea, jasmine — light to medium body, long yet clean finish, silky mouthfeel”

18. Agnieszka Rojewska (Brisman Kawowy Bar, Poland)


“Coffee has the power to change the world. All we need is courage…and my courage often comes from beer.”

That’s a beer-themed signature drink from with cascara, orange, and espresso, “carbonated to make beer-like texture”

The Polish champion competes with a washed Colombian coffee, caturra variety, “a very clean cup”


Agnieszka Rojewska of Poland is skipping to steam wand for her capps, and steaming w/ French press instead! his is a real thing you can do. you just pump the French press filter up and down while it’s full of milk.

19. Ben Put (Monogram Coffee, Canada)


The way we cup, source, and roast favors filter coffee.” But Ben Put had his green buyer pull espresso shots at origin, and choose coffee based on what tasted best in that setting. The result? A mocca variety coffee from Costa Rica’s Tarrazu region, personally roasted by Mr. Put.

vaccum sealed espressos. you put a shot of espresso into a vacuum sealer and it removes the crema, changing the shot’s molecular construction. This is something we’ve never seen before at a barista competition, and if it works and tastes good, well…fascinating.


sig drink for blood orange marmalade, basically, with an aromatic fruit & hops foam and espresso over spherified ice

20. Yoshikazu Iwase (Rec Coffee, Japan)


“For me, a wonderful espresso is one that can surprise with outstanding flavor”

Mr. Iwase of Japan competes with a Panama Gesha

This Panama Gesha has undergone a complex and unique processing method, submerged in a river over a period of days.


sig drink for takes espresso, Gesha flower syrup, and an apple infusion


“I came to the conclusion that gesha flavor can only be made by gesha!”

21. John Ryan Ting (A.R.C. Coffee, Singapore)


Mr. Ting competes here at w/ Panama Finca Santa Theresa geisha variety, natural process “blessed w/ rich volcanic soil”

“green lime acidity, dried peaches & agave nectar” in John Ryan Ting’s espresso — “aftertaste of earl grey tea”


Sig drink for John Ryan Ting takes an ice ball made with earl grey tea and vanilla, espresso and milk

22. Jong Hoon Lee (Coffee Graffiti, Korea)


like a whole tutti frutti of fruit flavors for ‘s espressos — “clean fruit note, sugar and cacao”

Jong Hoon Lee personally roasted his coffee, sourced from Costa Rica — “citric acidity and great flavor” as espressos


This is Mr. Lee’s third career WBC performance, including a Finals Sunday appearance in 2009, placing 5th overall.

signature drink for contains espresso, sugar syrup and dried fruit tea. he designed his signature drink glass himsefl! eautiful glassware from — low “pig nose” glass shots, split down the middle to contain two separate liquids

23. Chan Kwun Ho (The Cupping Room, Hong Kong)


Check out our spotlight feature on ‘s HKBC win from back in fall 2014

The inevitable has happened — sous vide roasting. ‘s coffee was “roasted” sous vide for 30 minutes.


finally origin and flavor can connect to each other” — talking sous vide roasting

Chan Kwun Ho competes at with a gesha variety coffee from Cerro Azul, in the Cauca department of Colombia

“orange, candy, and a black tea finish…medium body, silky texture, and sweet clean finish” in ‘s sous vide espressos


lady grey tea is a component in ‘s sig drink — “Like Earl Grey, but more delicate flavors” — this drink is bubblin’ and smokin’ full of sous vide geisha. Sure why not.

24. Aldrin Lumaban (Exquisite Café Corporation, Philippines)


“lively orange acidity, medium body, caramel sweetness and bakers’ chocolate” in Aldrin Lumaban’s espressos

it took *almost* all day but now, finally, inevitably, “Take Me To Church” by Hozier. Amen.
“orange becomes red berries, finishing with milk chocolate” in Aldrin Lumaban’s cappuccinos.
sig drink is meant to highlight Mr. Lumaban’s Ethiopian coffee: orange & green apple reduction, brown sugar syrup, dark chocolate

25. Tse-Lin Wu (Simple Kaffa, Taiwan)


This is the second consecutive WBC appearance for (Berg) Tse-Lin Wu of Taiwan — he placed 7th in the world last year.

Mr. Wu of Taiwan competes at with coffee marked as “Panama Kotowa Duncan (Washed & Natural) Geisha”

This Panama geisha from is “light roasted to AgTron #85” in what the gentleman from Taiwan calls a “transparent style”


We asked how many hours he’d trained for and he said “200”

“jasmine, lemon, and brown sugar” in ‘s espressos — “silky mouthfeel with a really long finish.”


Sig drink for : 3 shots of espresso; 2 shots served normal, third shot passed through a MyPressi with “coffee powder” —that’s a super-extracted concentrated shot of espresso in the Mypressi, added to two more conventional shots. “Geisha, barista tools, and my imagination” — with no additional ingredients.



Photos by Liz Clayton and Charlie Burt for Sprudge.com. Want to use our photos? Email us!

Live Twitter coverage and feature production by Jordan Michelman and Zac Cadwalader