Live, from cloudy, sneezy Amsterdam, Holland, Portland-based Stumptown barista and trainer Jennifer Prince is pulling shots and doing the clickity-clack over at her blog, Netherbrew. She recently attended the Dutch Barista Championship:

The competition was truly great. I honestly didn't expect the level of expertise to be as high as it seemed. I only wish I understood Dutch better so that I could have understood more of the presentations, but the cognates for flavors were plentiful!

At least 5 of the competitors used a washed Ethiopian SOE, or blends with Ethiopians as the dominant component. The competitor from Illy, who won, used a Sidamo for his espressos, and a blend of Yirgacheffe, Brazil, and Costa Rican coffees for his capps and sig. The new champ (who will compete in Colombia next year) was Yakup Aydin. This guy seemed like a crowd favorite. I was told he had competed for a couple of years, but things always went wrong in his past presentations, like last year when he served his sig drink without espresso!