It all comes down to this. It’s taken three days to get here, but we’re down to the final six baristas and at the end of the day, we’ll know the new World Barista Champion. It’s been a whirlwind 72 hours here in Dublin, full of amazing coffees and even more amazing baristas competing at such a high level. Months and months of preparation have gone into making it this far, but now each barista has just 15 minutes to stake their claim on the title.
61 countries were represented on the competition stage, the largest field in the history of the World Barista Championship, but there are only six left: France, Japan, The Netherlands, USA, Canada, and Taiwan. These are back-to-back Finals appearances for the French and Canadian baristas, and in fact every competitor has been on the World stage before. Except for one: Lem Butler of the USA.
So who’s it gonna be? The savvy old vets or the new kid on the block, who is himself the savviest of experienced pros? We’ll know soon enough.
Charlotte Malaval, Ditta Artigianale, France
Alright and now, our first competitor — the barista champion of France
This is Charlotte Malaval’s second career WBC finals appearance—she placed 6th in the world last season.
Charlotte Malaval competes using a fully washed red bourbon coffee from Finca San Roberto in El Salvador
espressos: “bright plums acidity, notes of orange, floral, delicate, medium body with a silky & very smooth texture”
she’s achieving cherry realness by combining strawberry, basil, and cinnamon with espresso
Yoshikazu Iwase, Rec Collective Co., Japan
Yoshikazu Iwase competes using coffees from @ninetyplus — from their Geisha Estate in Panama and Ethiopia
Yoshi Iwase personally helped process these coffees along with @ninetyplus in Panama — hands on.
Geisha with “high florals and sweetness” balancing the Ethiopian coffee in his espresso blend—”interweaving coffees”
absolutely beautiful modular stage setting for @y_iwase — he pulls back drawers to reveal visual tasting notes
This sig drink for @y_iwase includes Panama Geisha & Ethiopia espresso, apple, and passion fruit, served over an ice ball.
Lex Wenneker, Espresso Service West, The Netherlands
“Why don’t we order coffee based on variety? I think variety is just as important as origin”
Filter coffee from a lovely wine bottle, poured in formal wine glasses — @lexwenneker you’re after my heart
Sudan Rume, Geisha, and Pacamara are the three varieties @lexwenneker will serve in this routine
Sig drink takes pear, elderflower, and Muscat grape juice, pomegranate, and Pacamara espresso blended together
LEM BUTLER, COUNTER CULTURE COFFEE, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Notice how Lem methodically gives tasting notes for each course up front — he’ll repeat those notes throughout routine
Finca Nuguo Geisha espresso yields “bright lime acidity, touch of grapefruit, stone fruit, lingering coffee bitterness”
Ben Put, Monogram Coffee, Canada
“Sometimes an entirely new coffee experience is created” by taking risks sayeth @Putankhamun
.@Putankhamun taking risks too, putting his spro in a vac sealer to reduce bitterness, acidity, and cool it a bit.
Another risk for @Putankhamun: a new way to spro for his sig bev. Pressurized full immersion brew pushed through an aeropress.
Granadilla juice, apricot compote, and malic acid round out @Putankhamun‘s sig bev, w/ notes of passion fruit, strawberry, and melon.
Berg Wu, Simple Kaffa, Taiwan
Wu competes with a Geisha grown at 1950MASL at Finca @FincaDeborah in Panama.
White flowers – like jasmine – and orange in the espresso course for Berg Wu.
0.3cm microfoam in the milk course to not overpower Wu’s delicate spro. Notes of mandarin orange w/ an Early Grey tea finish
explosive aroma” in the sig bev for Berg Wu.
orange juice and honey reduction, Earl Grey tea, mandarin essential oil and nitrogen completes Wu’s sig bev.