(Update: Congratulations to Hideyuki Kono of Crafted Coffee, in Christchurch, winner of the 2011 New Zealand Barista Championship!)
This time of year, there's ALWAYS a quality barista championship to check out over the weekend. Regardless of what time it is where you are around the world, you can click here right now and check out the Saturday finals competition at the 2011 New Zealand Barista Championship.
Plot lines: 8 competitors compete in just one round, a sort of insta-final that makes each routine the one and only time baristas are allowed to present their routine. Several of the barista competitors work for cafes devastated by the Christchurch earthquake just a few months ago. USBC Certified Judge Brent Fortune is in the house, holding it down behind the judges table, Australian Barista Champion Matt Perger was the calibration barista, and people from New Zealand have fantastic accents.
“Being a good barista is not about who I am, how I look, or how the weather is outside. It's about coffee.”
-Arui Zhou, Luciano's Espresso Bar, Christchurch