Welcome to Sprudge.com’s complete recap of Day One, Round One at the 2013 World Barista Championship! This feature contains notes and info taken from our exhaustive @SprudgeLive Twitter feed, where we’ll be calling the WBC live from Melbourne throughout the weekend. These recaps give us a chance to synthesize together multiple Tweets; if you can’t get enough, feel free to scroll back through the Twitter feed for even more details from the maw of the madness.

Original photography by Sprudge co-founder Zachary Carlsen and Eileen P. Kenny (Birds of Unusual Vitality).

Sprudge.com’s coverage of the 2013 World Barista Championship is made possible by direct support from Nuova Simonelli and the St. Ali Family.


1. Roberto Pablo Caldas, Arabica Espresso Bar, Peru

8:35 #WBC2013 competitor Roberto Caldas hails from Arabica Espresso Bar, located in the Peruvian capital of Lima – learn more here. A Via accounts online, Arabica is one of the few quality focused espresso bars in Peru – great coffee grown there, but just a few bars.

8:36 “today i have a present for you – an amazing coffee from Peru” he tell us.  “This coffee is very special – it comes from the one and only biodynamic farm in Peru. this is very special work.”


8:38 Peruvian champ Roberto Caldas: “In central & south america,very many problems w/ rust leaf.” – first competitor, first rust mention.

8:42 Mr. Caldas’ sig drink: sparkling water, aeropress, espresso – talks about how these simple ingredients encompass all 4 elements of human taste.


2. William Hernandez, Viva Espresso, El Salvador

8:50 Viva Espresso is, of course, home to 2011 WBC Champ Alejandro Mendez and last year’s El Salvadoran WBC delegate Daniel Mendez – a proud competition history at this shop.

8:53 “this is a coffee that brings together everything we love about natural coffees & washed coffees” – he’s walking the judges through steps of processing using a series of handheld props.


8:56 a layered and multifaceted routine – he’s presenting the judges with wine glasses place over their espresso shots to “trap the condensation, so that we may cup the aroma” – Mr. Hernandez competes with a Red Bourbon coffee from El Salvador, roasted and sourced by @vivaespresso1

9:13 cascara, lime juice, hot water, brown sugar caramel and espresso in William Hernandez’s signature drink – aroma, sensory experience, flipped wine glasses, freakin’ siphons…a great routine and we’re still so early here at WBC…


3. Maria Auxiliadora Bonila, Beneficio Don Mayo, Costa Rica

9:23 Ms. Bonila competes w/ washed bourbon: same farm, same roasting profile, but different drying process – “slow” vs. “conventional”

9:30 Beneficia Don Mayo, from whence #WBC2013 Costa Rica champ Maria Bonila hails, is a fascinating place:  — there are 100’s of species of animals living in the Don Mayo coffee plantation, and this informs Ms. Bonila’s sig drink


9:34 sig drink includes local flower nectar, gelled w/ sodium alganate – molecular gastronomy meets Costa Rica biodiversity! she then oxygenates the espresso to “enhance the finish”, and finishes with Costa Rican honey pollinated at Don Mayo


9:36 “Life is not measured by the years you live, it’s for the special moments like this that take your breath away” – Maria Bonila


4. Lucca Casadei, Segafredo Zanetti, France 

9:45 Mr. Casadei competes using a honey processed geisha variety coffee from Costa Rica’s Central Valley, yielding espresso flavors he describes as “floral, sweet, and very very delicate.’

9:50 “I fell in love with the people in this beautiful country”- Mr. Casadei has himself spent time in Costa Rica, and speaks quite highly of it.

9:45 Lucca Casadei may be your French delegate at the 2013 #WBC2013, but he’s Italian by birth. His competition victory in France was for Segafredo, the self-described “leading Espresso producer in Italy” – learn more!


5. Jefferson David Castillo, Nicaragua

Mr. Bermudez is the first Spanish-language competitor here at #WBC2013 performing via translator. The translation situation at WBC would get better throughout the day, but here, in the early morning of day one, it was pretttty much impossible to get notes out of this routine live. Watch the full video below!



6. Ron Harvey Valero Balaguera, Juan Valdez Cafe (PROCAFECOL), Colombia

10:30 Mr. Balaguera starts his routine with an interesting conceit – he gathers fruits from his judges, having them place individual pieces of fruit from their settings into a siphon. This includes jicama flower to “highlight floral notes in my coffee,” as well as blackberries and strawberries.

10:35 There might be a diverse group of Latin Americans here at #WBC2013 but they will all get down and dance when the music’s loud. it’s largely impossible not to you, yourself start doing the wiggle when salsa music plays this loud and bright. dear #wbc2013 i love you.

10:40 postcards with origin information, gorgeous wooden placeware, and great music! we’re familiar with Juan Valdez Cafe from our time spent in Colombia in recent years, they have many may cafes in Bogota and Medellin.

7. 10:15 – Godfrey Batte, Africa Coffee Academy, Uganda


8. Romeo Porello Jr., Eurocoffee, United Arab Emirates

10:50 Romeo Porello hails from EuroCoffee, a Lavazza distributor in the United Arab Emirates.

10:54 he’s whisking, he’s steaming…Romeo Porello with the first hot plate sig drink service at #WBC2013 – and can we talk about how great of a name Romeo Porello is? We’re pulling for this guy to win on headline possibilities alone

10:57 no shade intended here, but with each drink course Mr. Pomello is just re-starting Coldplay’s “Clocks” – we’ve heard it thrice now.


9. Daniel Andres Cifuentes Diaz, Caffe Lattente, Argentina

11:30 Mr. Diaz is the owner of Caffe Lattente – “if you ever make it to Buenos Aires, you are welcome to come in” – Caffe Lattente is, by multiple accounts online, the best cafe in Buenos Aires, and you can read more about them here.

11:40 mr. diaz’s signature drink is a play on traditional Argentinian mate – served in a little wooden mate gourd! Have a mate, mate!

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10. Graciele Rodrigues, Lucca Cafes Especials, Brazil

11:53 Her name is Graciele Rodrigues but she goes by Grace – our 2nd translated routine of the day here at #WBC2013, this time from Portugese into English.

11:55 this routine focuses on the small producers of Brazil, the microproducers that some people don’t think of when they think of Brazilian coffee.

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12:00 her coffee is a washed caturra variety, with a flavor profile that is “unique and exotic” – her signature drink includes agave syrup and green apples.


11. Rasmus Helgebostad, Java Espressobar & Kaffeforretning AS, Norway – @recaf

12: 15 Mr. Helgebostad competes using a coffee from Huila, Colombia – “medium body, savory mouthfeel, peach and star anise,” He’ll be steaming steaming star anise and macadamia nut milk as part of his impending sig drink.

12:20 trend watch here at #WBC2013 – simple settings. @recaf‘s sig drink zone is downright sparse, just a bit of glassware and an ice bucket.

12:22 this routine focuses on diacetyl, a naturally occurring byproduct of fermentation that produces a butter flavor.

12:24 Rasmus works for Java Espressobar, serving Kaffa.

marian plajdicko

12. Eniko Kantor, Hungary

12:40 Eniko Kantor of Hungary is a bit of a change of pace – in the last 4 previous years it’s been Attila Molnar. there’s evidently quite a cool and thriving cafe scene in Budapest, Hungary!

12:44 Enriko is one of several European WBC competitors with a culinary background – she’s worked in several fine dining restaurants as a barista over the last few years.

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12:45 “would you be satisfied with a sub par taste when you leave a restaurant?” – that’s a rhetorical question, surely

12:48 Enriko competes using a coffee from the Konga Cooperative in the Yirgacheffe region – a nice acidity, “like cranberry – I think it’s a real special coffee, and the roasting profile is after the first crack”

12:50 dry strawberries that she rehydrates right on stage, and various “cooling stages” for her coffees and sig drink ingredients, so as to serve a fully chilled sig drink to the judges by her routine’s end

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13. Mariarosa Gomez, Ristretto Cafe, Puerto Rico

1:15 Ms. Gomez is serving a single origin coffee comprised of multiple varieties, grown at low altitudes in her native Puerto Rico. Her coffee is washed and fermented, and has a low acidity but much sweetness, as per her tasting notes.

1:22 “the perfect balance that we’re always looking for” in her cappuccino course. a cosmic balance, almost. you get it, Mariarosa.

1:28 a relaxed, totally in control routine from Mariarosa Gomez, barista champ of Puerto Rico – very impressive and professional

14. Marian Plajdicko, Slovakia

1:45 Mr. Plajdicko competes using an Ethiopian coffee, a Yirgacheffe roasted by the internationally well-regarded cafe and roastery The Barn. He’s worked closely with the team at @THEBARNBERLIN – so in a way he’s repping Slovakia AND Berlin.

1:52 sig drink: red grape jam, fruit syrup, espresso brewed in an aeropress – then combined w/ Ethiopian espresso, yielding flavors of  “sour cherries and ripe plums that should remind you of the taste of wine.”

1:56 “Great quality coffee deserves special attention; it should be treated a bit different, and that’s up to the baristas.”

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15. Christian Vera, Dach Coffee, Chile

2:05 Mr. Vera competes as a representative of Dach Coffee – here’s their Facebook.

2:10 quite a bit of mambo going on here in this routine… and I happen to be seated next to @petergiuliano who is a walking encyclopedia on this stuff. The music in @baristacristian‘s routine mostly comes to us from Perez Prado, the king of the mambo.

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16. Natalia Kuranakova, Kredens Cafe, Ukraine

2:20 the onslaught continues! up now it’s Natalia Kuranakova, #WBC2013 delegate from the Ukraine, representing Kredens Cafe located in the Ukrainian city of Lviv – they’re on Twitter at @KREDENSCAFE

2:24 lemongrass and ginger, sparkling water, and espresso in her sig drink – “bright acidity of fruit, but mellowed into a sweet nectar.” this is a charming routine from Ms. Kuranakova!

Zjevuan Lemar Janga6

17. Zjevuan Lemar Janga, Restaurant Ivy, Netherlands

Sometimes technology and fate conspire against you – Zjevuan Janga’s routine was marred by a network crash on the livestream that also felled our Official Media Partner wifi feed. It’s a shame because Mr. Janga’s routine was widely talked about amongst competitors and comp watchers, owing no doubt in part to the fact that Zjevuan Janga’s outfit was unbelievably cool. Just look at him: it’s like if they’d held a barista competition in the third act of The Fifth Element.

One note survives from the temporary felling of our Twitter:

2:30 red fruit, raspberry, and a deep sweetness – “a medium style espresso” from Mr. Janga here at #WBC2013

For what it’s worth, we really hope he makes semi-finals so we can appreciate this routine without dealing with a tech issue.

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18. Torfi Torfason, Iceland

2:45 Mr. Torfason competes using yet another Huila, Colombia coffee – this time roasted by Tim Wendelboe

2:50 Torfi’s coffee was dried for an astonishing 60 days! In Torfi’s words, this (along with careful roasting) resulted in”a cleaner cup, with more complexity of flavor”

2:54 This is a light roast, with a thinner crema than the darker roasts: “A berry-like acidity with cane sugar sweetness.”

2:57 “Before I was in coffee, I was a chef – this had a big impact on how I think about coffee” –Mr. Torfason exploring notions of mise en place, exhibiting more culinary influence here at WBC

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19. Kapo Chiu, The Cupping Room, Hong Kong

3:03 This is yet another simple, sparse stage setting from the top competitors at #WBC2013 – Mr. Chiu of @TheCuppingRoom

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3:05 Mr. Chiu’s cappuccinos with notes of “biscuit” – but which biscuit? triscuits? chicken in a biscuit? wheetabix?

3:07 “What you’re about to taste in the cup is the reason lot separation matters.” – Kapo Chiu, champion of Hong Kong.

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20. Oskar Alverus, Drop Coffee, Sweden

3:15 Mr. Alverus is the head roaster at Drop Coffee in Sweden – “as a roaster, i am lucky enough to be in total control of how i want my coffee to taste.” The roaster as barista champion, awesome! Meticulous intentionality.

3:20 Yet another Huila coffee here from Oskar of @DropCoffee at #WBC2013 – these coffees dominated at #USBC as well – Huila is The *It* Region of WBC 2013. Mr. Alverus’ coffee is a catimor variety, hand picked, rinsed 3 times in a 24 hour fermentation, then dried for 15 days.

3:22 wild, gorgeous glassware for Oskar of @DropCoffee‘s sig drink – 3 tall shotglasses per judge, pipettes, blonde wood.

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21. Alejandro Escobar Vazquez, Cafe Etrusca / Pare de Dormir, Mexico

3:26 conceit of Mexican champ Alejandro Vaquez’s routine: “use no smelling.” He’s removing a sense from the judges to focus their taste buds.

3:28 Again, more relative simplicity in the sig drinks from Mr. Vazquez – no wild meth lab drippers or steam punk pumps at #WBC2013 thus far, but we are seeing him employ water drip towers using still and carbonated waters. carbonated coffee!

3:30 Mr. Vazquez’ coffee hails from the Oaxaca region of Mexico.

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22. Serkan Ipekli, Mambocino Coffee, Turkey

3:40 Not a lot of talking here from Turkish competitor Serkan Ipekli – he’s the strong, silent type. But you know what? You do you, that’s what I always say.

3:44 no apron? no problem! Er, well, points-wise there is a problem, but let Serkan be Serkan.

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23. Matthew Perger, St. Ali, Australia

3:52 “if there’s one thing i’ve learned from filter coffee, it’s that the perfect grind size makes everything better.”

3:55  @mattperger‘s routine features a brand new tamping style – “Nutator”, in which he moves the tamper around the basket in circles.

3:57 Mr. Perger’s espresso is from Finca Santuario in Colombia, a red bourbon roasted by St. Ali and served in a frozen demitasse!

3:59 “The milk you’re drinking is from a cow named Freckles.”

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4:05 Mr. Perger’s sig drink is called a “Coffee Shot” – it’s a luongo shot passed through a paper filter to remove crema its crema. And that’s just the start of it – watch Matt’s routine in its entirety here in the video archives.

24. 3:55 – Rhoda Kamau, Nairobi Serena Hotel, Kenya

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25. Shem Lupin, Stoll Kaffe, Switzerland

4:15 Mr. Lupin tried bringing in Swiss milk, but was denied – he’s still happy with the milk he found here in Oz though. Mr. Lupin is here repping Stoll Kaffe, a cafe and roastery in Zurich – learn more: http://stoll-kaffee.ch/ 

4:20 Great classic soul here during @shemspresso‘s run on stage – a kind of stax records / motown thing happening

4:29 Mr. Lupin’s sig drink includes apple juice, rhubarb juice, and carob. Here’s hoping this routine wasn’t lost in the shuffle – the Swiss champ @shemspresso was great, if subtle.

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26. Tomas Rudys, Lithuania

4:40 #WBC2013 is a ravenous beast that must be fed, and it eats competitors. Next is Tomas Rudys, champ of Lithuania!

4:42 Yes! The “Rocky” theme! thank you, Tomas Rudys of Lithuania, for playing the “Rocky” theme.

4:48 Cool filter coffee component to Mr. Rudys’ sig drink – long paper cones, sort of like a french fry cone or something, which he pours over a vessel containing fresh flowers, mixed with espresso – yum, fresh flowers, sounds great.

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27. Nick Clark, Flight Coffee, New Zealand

4:52 Mr. Clark competes using a Cafe Imports French Mission bourbon, sun dried, from Kenya’s Thiriku region

4:55 Mr. Clark’s espressos: raspberry acidity, dry husky cocoa note at the end – “a quite refreshing linger”

5:00 His opening interaction with the judges is almost like an interactive board game – a really fun set of instructions.

5:05 “As baristas, it’s very much our job to act as an ambassador for what’s in the cup.”

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28. Dmitry Boroday, North-West Coffee Company, Russia

5:15 “Clear, sweet taste of plum and cherry, and a light, great acidity – a dark tobacco aftertaste” – Mr. Boroday on his espressos.

5:22 ooh! Last competitor of the day, but the BEST capp notes of the day – Dmitry’s taste like “creamy cookies.” What exactly IS a creamy cookie? Did I maybe hear that wrong? It’s been a really long day and I want a creamy cookie dammit.

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