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Last Week With Ben Blake: Week of June 1st, 2013

Last Week With Ben Blake: Week of June 1st, 2013

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The 2013 World Barista ChampionshipThe city of Melbourne, Australia was the focus of the coffee world last week as the top baristas and brewers from across the globe competed for the titles of best barista and best brewer. After a year full of national barista competitions, countless hours of training, and loads of coffee, your winners have been crowned.

World Barista Champion

Your 2013 World Barista Champion is Mr. Pete Licata of Kansas City’s Parisi Coffee. Mr. Licata is a career barista competitor and competed in the 2013 WBC using a coffee grown by producer Arnulfo Leguizamo in the Huila Department of southwestern Colombia; this coffee was sourced for Pete by the team at Cafe Imports, and roasted by John Welsh at Parisi Coffee. You can read a full report on Mr. Licata’s coffee in this in-depth feature here.

This win solidifies an already impressive career resume for Pete—including a second place finish at the 2011 WBC and multiple USBC victories. The field was packed with talented baristas and incredible routines.

The top 6 from Melbourne:

1. Pete Licata, United States of America – 631 points overall.
2. Matthew Perger, Australia – 619 points overall.
3. William Hernandez, El Salvador – 596 points overall.
4. Colin Harmon, 3FE, Ireland – 561.5 points overall.
5. Nick Clark, Flight Coffee, New Zealand – 540 points overall.
6. Francesco Sanapo, Italy – 533 points overall.

You’ll find a complete synthesis of the semi-finals right here, with original photography by Eileen P. Kenny for Sprudge.com.

World Barista Championship Semi-Finals: Photos, Notes, and Complete Video Recap

Mr. Licata’s Winning Routine

Portraits of the WBC Finalists: As we start the process of working through our post-Australia malaise – sickness! time zone affectedness! laptop replacements! exhaustion! – we felt it prudent to share with you one of our favorite sets of images from the 2013 World Barista Championship. These photos were taken by Rob Dunne, one half of DunneFrankowski, just moments after each competitor’s WBC Finals run. They are candid snapshots, illustrative not of how these men compete, but who they really are. Check it out.

Nick Clark, Barista Champion of New Zealand.

Nick Clark, Barista Champion of New Zealand.

World Brewer’s CupIt was a clean sweep for the U.S. of A. at the WBC this year, as Mr. Erin McCarthy of Counter Culture Coffee brewed his way to the top. Mr. McCarthy took home the title of “World’s Best Coffee Brewer” in Melbourne using a Kalita Wave and Counter Culture’s Esmeralda Lino Lot . Erin traveled, competed, and won (!) alongside his dedicated brewing coaches Katie Carguilo (Counter Culture Coffee, 2012 United States Barista Champion) and Sam Penix (Everyman Espresso, US regional certified judge). You can find a complete breakdown of all the gear he used, as well as a recipe for the winning brew right here.

Here’s a complete list of the top 6 Brewers:

1. Erin McCarthy (Counter Culture Coffee, United States)
2. Jung InSung (Koreait College, South Korea)
3. Josh Tarlo (Pig Iron Coffee Roasters, Canada)
4. Sang Ho Park (Square Mile Coffee Roasters, United Kingdom)
5. Carolina Franco de Souza (Lucca Cafes Especialias, Brazil)
6. Tibor Varady (Espresso Embassy, Hungary)

Be sure to check out the latest Sprudge Sunday Magazine featuring World Brewer’s Cup Champ Erin McCarthy, including a video of his full routine!

wac-winners

World Aeropress ChampionAn evening of ping pong, Huxtaburgers, and plastic red wine cups culminated in the crowning of your 2013 World Aeropress Championship, Mr. Jeff Verellen!

Mr. Verellen is a barista and roaster at Caffenation (Team Sausage!) in Antwerp, Belgium, and is the world’s first tw0-time WAC champion, having previously won the 2011 edition of this august event.

Here’s his winning recipe:

Soft water (SPA) with high PH – sweet – 83-84 C
17g coffee
Bloom 40 sec with 50ml water
Add 220g water (total 270) at 79C
Press slowly for 30sec
Leave approx 50g in the brewer (both water and coffee)

Check out our feature on the WAC for a breakdown of the finalists and their recipes, including some fantastic action shots of the event.

Stay tuned for even more coverage from the entire MICE event and WBC festivities!

Switching gears a bit…

Stumptown-W8th-Final-6213

Positively 8th Street: Talkin’ New York Stumptown’s Brand New Cafe: Our own Alex Bernson took an in-depth look at Stumptown Coffee’s new Greenwich Village location in NYC, and Aaron Frey (FRSHGRND) was on location and shot beautiful photography for us. Mr. Bernson goes over everything from the coffees being offered, the brew bar design, and an inside peek into the design and aesthetic of the space. Here’s more from his piece:

The brew bar will offer every single coffee Stumptown is roasting at a given time (including more expensive Grand Cru lots) available on siphon, Aeropress, Chemex, Beehouse dripper, French press, and perhaps even more manual brewing methods down the line. Every brew device in use will also be available for sale. The gentleman running Stumptown’s new brew bar is named James Fairbrass, and he told me that the baristas there are being trained to give a “concierge” style of service, where the focus is not on dictating what coffee should be brewed how, but instead engaging the customer in conversation and helping them find the coffee experience they want.

Speaking of NYC…

Copyright Or Wrong, Everyman’s Getting ScrewedThe fine folks at Everyman Espresso are currently engulfed in a copyright infringement battle for the ages. Their now-infamous “I (mug) NY” logo is at the center of a controversy with the NY State Department of Economic Development. After removing all merchandise that includes the logo, and making it unavailable, the NY State Department of Economoic Development is taking it one step further and low-balling the small, well-loved company in what appears to be a straight-up money grab. You can read more on the story here and form your own opinion.

PT’s Coffee Tragedy In Colombia – Help A Farmer’s RecoveryAwful news out of Colombia, where armed bandits raided the farm of Armando Benavides. PT’s Coffee founder Jeff Taylor was actually there on the ground in Colombia as this story happened:

Bandits raided [Mr. Benavides’] farm Friday night near Buesaco, Nariño, taking everything in sight, even if it was bolted down.

The farm manager later reported that two masked men with guns came to the farm on Friday night around 8pm.They tied him up and put him in the back of the car they were driving. His family was locked in one of the homes on the property, along with the dogs.

Then, more bandits joined the first two and they robbed Armando and his family of everything on the farm. They took his beds, his furniture, his motors to run the coffee processing equipment, and even the coffee that was drying on the patio or in bags in the warehouse. They took everything they could find for the next 5+ hours.

They took everything except Armando’s and his family’s spirit. His children, Valeria and Juan Pablo, rallied around their father, as did his wife, Magali. Thats what family’s do after all, they prop us up during times of trouble.

The farm manager, who was locked in the car, was set free, unharmed, on the side of a road around 3am in the morning. Thats when Armando got the life changing phone call. The family and dogs were still scared to death in the home where they lived. No one was injured, but they were plenty scared.

When Maritza and I finally arrived at the farm the following Tuesday morning, Armando was emotional, but strong. Resilient. Undaunted. The harvest would go on and the coffee would make it to market so that he could feed his family.

Community and family members have rallied around to help them, and we are stepping up as well to raise some funds and help Armando and his family rebuild.

Get involved in the recovery of Finca Santa Maria after this devastating series of events, and/or purchase some of PT’s Finca Santa Maria coffee, and learn more about the farm by watching this video:

Finca Santa Maria 2013 from PT’s Coffee Roasting Co. on Vimeo.

 


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