The dust has settled and Round One of the World Barista Championship in Dublin has come to a close. The rather hefty 62-person field took damn near 24 hours over the course of two days to complete before we could learn the 12 baristas making it to the Semi-Finals, happening today.
Those 12 are now hoping to earn one of the coveted six Finals spots and a chance to perform one last time for the title of 2016 World Barista Champion. We saw two competitors break the 500 point mark in Round One, but expect to see even more people to go 500+, because this is where competitors really step up their games. Everyone will be cleaning up those little half point hiccups, so the scores will be even tighter this go round. It’s really anyone’s game at this point.
Sprudge.com’s coverage of the 2016 World Barista Championship is made possible by Urnex Brands, Nuova Simonelli, and KitchenAid.
We’re here all day, photographing, live-tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming it all, doing whatever it takes to bring you closer to the action. If the WBC is Passover, then you must be Elijah, because we saved you a seat…
Berg Wu, Simple Kaffa, Taiwan
Our first competitor on the day here at #wbcDUBLIN is Berg Wu, Simple Kaffa, Taiwan
Berg Wu’s competing here at #wbcDUBLIN with a washed Geisha coffee from Panama – one of several Geisha-repping competitors here today
Big citrus notes in Berg Wu’s #wbcDUBLIN Geisha espressos
150 ml of organic milk in Berg Wu’s milk drink here at #wbcDUBLIN — “i grind finer, and extract my espresso stronger for more citrus”
Torrential rain pouring down on the roof of this Barista Battle Dome, paired with Berg Wu’s downtempo chill sndtrack
range juice & honey reduction, early grey tea, mandarin essential oil through an aromatizer — that’s Berg Wu
Ying Hu, Outman Coffee, China
“As a coffee shop owner, I have to balance what a customer wants with what a barista can provide.” – Ying Hu
Ms. Hu lets a judge decide which version of the sig bev will be served today: hot or cold. He chose cold.
The coffee today for Hu is a honey processed Geisha from Finca Deborah in Panama.
Cascara syrup, orange juice, and sparking water comprise part of Ms. Hu’s sig bev, and she serves them that part in glen cairns.
As an espresso, Ms. Hu’s Panama Finca Deborah is presenting lots of stone fruit flavors. Think apricot. I know I am.
Yoshikazu Iwase, Rec Collective Co., Japan
“Interweaving coffees” today from @y_iwase. 2 @ninetyplus coffees, a Panama and an Ethiopia.
12g Ethiopia and 8g Panama make up the blend for @y_iwase‘s espressos, giving notes of mango, raspberry jam, and passion fruit.
When @y_iwase visited the farms from which his coffee comes, he got to work with the pickers to select the ripest cherries.
Notes of vanilla and banana in @y_iwase‘s milk drinks here at #WBCDublin.
Sig bev for @y_iwase includes espresso, apple, and passion fruit, served over an ice ball.
Hugh Kelly, ONA Coffee, Australia
This routine is themed around the idea of serving a coffee that isn’t special because it’s rare—it’s intentional
Ona Coffee, home to @hughkellyona is also home to last year’s world champion @SasaSestic — can they repeat?
Hugh Kelly’s serving a Castillo variety processed two ways, from producer Elkin Guzman at El Mirador in Colombia
“sparkling espresso, medium weight, silky mouthfeel, bright red currant” — Castillo espresso from @hughkellyona
his milk drinks get a coffee that’s been “natural processed on the tree” — “a new kind of processing” v interesting
sig drink for @hughkellyona takes freeze-concentrated fresh blackcurrants from Tasmania, freeze-dried fruits, and coconut sugar
Dawn Chan, The Cupping Room, Hong Kong
When cafes keep sending champions you know there’s something special there. @thecuppingroom excels on these big stages.
It’s a Gesha from Café Granja la Esperanza Cerro Azul of Colombia, roasted by @SwtBlmcoffee in Colorado
“fresh white peach, peach gummy” notes in @dawn_cfu @thecuppingroom milk drinks here at #wbcdublin
“This is some of the best coffee in the world—my job is to create a new experience for coffee drinkers”
“lemongrass tea” acidity in these natural processed gesha espressos — dang that sounds good Dawn Chan
Dawn Chan’s sig drink: fermented cold pressed grape juice, hibiscus black tea, gesha, carb’d & chilled
Charlotte Malaval, Ditta Artigianale, France
“Excellence is not always what is seems” – @MalavalC here at #WBCDublin
It’s a fully washed red bourbon from Finca San Roberto in El Salvador for @malavalc, with big red plum, orange, and floral notes.
The cheering section for @malavalc is rather large and boisterous, clapping along to her soundtrack. Not sure about those sequined hats, tho
chocolate and almonds with a creamy texture in @malavalc‘s milk course.
To bring out the cherry flavor in her San Fernando coffee, @malavalc‘s sig bev uses strawberry, basil, and cinnamon. Perception, y’all
“Quality can happen anywhere”
Erna Tosberg, Roestbar Joka e. K., Germany
Caturra and Catuai varieties in @kommissar_ern‘s Black Unicorn espresso from Cumbres del Poas in Costa Rica.
Gotta pamper your coffee. @kommissar_ern‘s Black Unicorn gets a “sauna treatment” drying process to break down cell structure.
Taste notes in @kommissar_ern‘s natural processed Black Unicorn – blueberry, raisin, brazil nut, and cacao.
Rum raisin, hazelnut and cacao in @kommissar_ern‘s black-cupped Black Unicorn milk course. Black Unicorn-tados, if you will.
Fermented milk, sugar, salt, and blueberries make up the sig bev for @kommissar_ern.
Natalia Piotrowska, Independent, Ireland
“To me this coffee completely represents what specialty coffee is” – @nataliafilo5 discussing her coffee, the Sudan Rume.
.@nataliafilo5‘s progressive tasting notes in her 1st Sudan Rume: lime acidity to raisin, plum, grapefruit to milk chocolate coated raisin
.@nataliafilo5 moves from a washed Sudan Rume to a natural processed one, produced by Camilo Merizalde in Colombia.
.@nataliafilo5 is smokin’ plums on stage. The sig bev is underway…
Apple infusion, smoked plum reduction and panela sugar in @nataliafilo5‘s sig bev w/ a nice lime acidity.
Lem Butler, Counter Culture Coffee, United States of America
And now it is time for Lem.
Lem Butler competes here with a green tip gesha from producer Jose Gallardo of Finca Nuguo in Panama
For his espresso @sexyfoam slings “bright lime acidity, touch of grapefruit, stone fruit sweetness, lingering coffee bitterness”
For capps you’ll get @sexyfoam serving a 4oz classic with “creamy mouthfeel, butter almond, toffee, and a touch of lime acidity”
you know there is an enormous amount of work that goes into a @sexyfoam set but he’s just so chill up there. totally in command
Dan Fellows, Origin Coffee, United Kingdom
Kinda feels like the UK needs something to cheer for today…
Dan Fellows competes here at #wbcdublin with @ninetyplus Ethiopia Nekisse Limited Batch E17
21 grams in, 42 grams out for @danfellows1 espresso course — “this will deliver the most amazing tactile…like pineapple juice”
“passionfruit…red plum, black cherry, and a light note of 60% dark chocolate” — @danfellows1 spro notes
dunno if you would call it “swag’ per se but @danfellows1 up there dealing — cool collected in control
Chilled Nekisse, freeze-dried strawberries, fresh passionfruit, Peruvian cacao nibs, pineapple juice, , AND…
salted molasses syrup Matcha coconut cream, & an infusion of dried pineapple, dried coconut and passion fruit tea
Ben Put, Monogram Coffee, Canada
The theme of @Putankhamun‘s is about risk. That risk has paid off thus far, giving him the highest score in the 1st round at the #WBCDublin.
he 1st risk for @Putankhamun vacuum pressurizing his espresso to remove the carbonic acid
Notes of passion fruit, strawberry, and pineapple from the @ninetyplus Semeon Abay espresso for @Putankhamun
45 deg C milk for @Putankhamun‘s capps bringing out flavors of banana pudding, strawberry, and chocolate ice cream, which sounds yummy.
Pressurized full immersion brew made with custom h2o then run through an aeropress is @Putankhamun‘s new spro method.
To his special spro, @Putankhamun adds granadilla juice, apricot compote, and malic acid for his sig bev
Lex Wenneker, Espresso Service West, The Netherlands
The farm in Colombia where @lexwenneker got his coffee grows multiple varieties, and he’s gonna use his routine to highlight the differences
Not part of his judged 3 drinks, @lexwenneker is serving the judges all 3 varieties as filter coffees to taste in the same brew method
Thus far, @lexwenneker has served the judges a Sudan Rume and a natural gesha as part of his tasting menu, both from the same farm.
Coconut with a hint of caramel in the @lexwennker macchiatos using milk brought from a 60 cow farm in The Netherlands
3rd coffee in @lexwenneker‘s tasting menu is a natural Pacamara. All from Las Margaritas BTW. same process method, same harvest season
Pear, elder flower, and Muscat grape juice, pomegranate, and Pacamara espresso blended together for @lexwenneker‘s sig bev.