There's a new post up today on Birds of Unusual Vitality, specialty coffee's premiere photo and interview publication written by Sprudge.com's Melbourne staff writer Eileen P. Kenny. In it, Ms. Kenny interviews the man, the myth, the impresario legend, Tim Wendelboe, of his own eponymous coffee roaster in Oslo, Norway.
Here's an excerpt from the interview, in which Mr. Wendelboe is perfectly, ineffably himself at all times:
About half a year after starting his first specialty coffee job at Stockfleth’s in Oslo at age 18, Tim entered his first barista competition, “I showed up and found it quite intriguing. I didn’t do very well but well enough to be motivated to try again. I knew that I needed to do better and learn more… it was a snowball effect, and I haven’t stopped ever since.”
He subsequently competed in the Norwegian Championships five times over a six year period, winning three times before gaining the world title. Understandably, Tim believes that the competition is a useful tool for professional development, “I think it says on the mission statement of the competition that it’s meant to educate and promote barista crafts, and there’s no doubt that the competition has been important in doing that. This year, the baristas from all over the world are ticking the boxes technically, and although I don’t necessarily agree with all that technical bullshit (at this level of competition it might not be so important to check if the barista can purge a steam wand), it’s still quite important as an educational tool.”
Read the full feature here on Birds of Unusual Vitality, and read more from Eileen P. Kenny right here on Sprudge, including recent features on Melbourne's batch brew scene and a charmingly lilliputian Melbourne roaster called Clement.
Top photo by Eileen P. Kenny.