37. 10:55 Helka IkonenCafe Art, Finland

“In my opinion, our job as baristas is to start where information ends.”–Helka Ikonen

Ms. Ikonen is serving her signature drink first–“this beverage is an introduction to the flavors in my espresso.”

Finish Rican Barista Champion Helka Ikonen-6014

Major sound problems, mic feedback, no running timer, whatever–Helka Ikonen largely unflappable in the face of drama.

Ms. Ikonen's signature beverage is “an americano with a twist”–espresso diluted with a berry infusion.

Helka Ikonen is serving a SL-28 & SL-34 Kenya AA–“deep, intense flavors of black currants and raspberries”.

Cappuccinos with “black currants and chocolate” notes from Helka Ikonen.

Finish Rican Barista Champion Helka Ikonen-5971

Helka Ikonen of is one of several competitors we've seen this week using ‘s increasingly iconic EK43 grinder.

Ms. Ikonen on her Kenya espresos: “these espressos are much more progressive”–strength low, shots long.

38. 11:15 Vaiva MaskovaiteCaravan (London), Lithuania @caravanexmouth

Next up it's Vaiva Maskovaite, representing Caravan Coffee in London and the nation of Lithuania !

Lithuanian Barista Champion Vaiva Maskovaite-8972

You might be saying–“Wait, she works in London, but she's the champion of Lithuania?”–yes. This is common in modern Europe.

Vaiva Maskovaite competes with a Latin American coffee–“not chocolate. light and tropical flavors.”

“Ripe strawberries” in Vaiva Maskovaite's cappuccinos .

Sig drink for Vaiva Maskovaite: frozen pineapple infusion, espresso, maltodextrin coconut strawberry powder (!)

Lithuanian Barista Champion Vaiva Maskovaite-8931

“Our industry is ever-changing, and sometimes I think it's one step forward and two steps back”–Vaiva Maskovaite.

“We should encourage each other. We should be sensible to each other.” 

 

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