Recapping Day 3 Semi-Finals from the 2012 World Barista Championship, reporting live from Vienna, Austria. Our coverage is powered all week by direct support from Nuova Simonelli. Follow Sprudge on Twitter for up-to-the-second updates as they happen at #wbc2012. All times CEST.

Our thanks as well to the good people at World Coffee Events for graciously extending us access and accommodation as unofficial media sponsors. This work is sincerely our pleasure.

Raul Rodas, Paradigma Coffee Roasters, Guatemala @raultigre

[Full Performance Video]

11:13 due to schedule changes in prelims, @raultigre was the last performer in prelims -and now he is the first performer in semi-finals

11:19 “the thing i’ve been doing lately is experimenting with the processing of the coffee” – pulped, dry ferment for 14 hours (w/ attached mucilage on beans), then dried for 15 days on raised beds

11:25 on stage for @raultigre – clever dripper, @ablebrewing kone (can’t tell which edition), electric bonavita kettle, classy glassware

11:28 around 12 pieces of glassware per judges, filled and refilled – @raultigre pours various liquid well over a hundred times in hisroutine

11:34 a smooth, solid, “makes it seem easy” run from @raulrodas – this is his 4th year of international competition, with a 2nd place overall finish last year, and it shows

Coen van Sprang, Lebkov & Sons, The Netherlands @lebkov

[Full Performance Video]

11:38 an enormous crowd of dutch well-wishers here for mr. van sprang – “i want to share my love of ethiopian coffees with you”

11:40 mr. van sprang is one of many #wbc2012 competitors to have shepherded his coffee at every touch point – sourcing, roasting, and now service

11:42 mr. van sprang sort of looks like tennis champ richie tenenbaum, what with the long hair and the fashionable head band

11:44 mr. van sprang competes with a semi-washed ethiopian coffee from yirgacheffe, to which he’s personally traveled to source with lebkov & sons

11:49 mr. van sprang espresso: creamy, juicy – “that’s the washed side” – dry fruit, raisins – “that’s the raw, unwashed side”

11:52 sig drink – elderflower reduction, cascara reduction with lemon “fine” made from the yirgacheffe, both added to espresso – judges are then asked to swirl repeatedly in their glass to incorporate flavors – deceptively simple, likely delicious

Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, Colonna and Small’s, United Kingdom @Colonna_Smalls

[Full Performance Video]

12:00 “i’m going to start by making an admission – i am absolutely obsessed with coffee”

12:02 mr. colonna-dashwood’s coffee: bolivia valentin caturra & typica – fully washed machine dried, w/ some dry ferment

12:05 cappuccino course: organic jersey herd unhomogenzied milk from SW england, paired with a 15 day roast of the boliva valentin, dosed low

12:08 mr. colonna-dashwood on his espressos: pineapple, tomato, cherry, salty caramel, cocoa bitterness – described as having a “medium body, which stops the sweetness from becoming overwhelming” – served 22 days off roast

12:14 sig drink flavors meant not to compliment or mimic the flavors in his espresso, but rather to contrast them – licorice and star anise extract, ruby red grapefruit juice, each served to the side of his espresso

Per Nordell, Åre Kafferoster, Sweden

[Full Performance Video]

12:20 mr. nordel begins his routine with the most beautiful pop song in human history,  “this must be the place (naive melody)” by talking heads

12:22 mr. nordel’s shop, Åre Kafferoster, is a small shop in the ski mountains of sweden – learn more:

12:23 mr. nordel’s coffee comes from the volcanic wonderland of antigua, guatemala – consistently humid microclimate, a coffee eden

12:25 mr. nordel personally roasted the coffee he’s serving here at #wbc2012 – this truly is the year of the roaster / barista – self-roasting is a recurring theme for those selected to semi-finals

12:28 mr. nordel’s signature drink incorporates crushed fennel and aniseed, brewers malt (“my father was a brewmaster”), & honeyed water

12:22 on his guatemala antigua espresso: “high acidity, balanced out by a sweetness – i want you to focus on the apricot and the almond”

Philipp Meier, Independent, Switzerland

[Full Performance Video]

12:42 swiss champ philipp meier serves the judges a 50/50 blend of san rafael colombia and sidamo ethiopia

12:43 mr. meier starts by brewing an aeropress – “i’m going to serve you 5 different drinks, 5 different ways, 5 different viscosities”

12:46 mr. meier’s place settings are distinctive little 2x2x2 stripe stained wooden boxes. most settings don’t go vertical like this

12:50 those place settings are stacking – he pulls the top layer off for each course service – way clever table design from mr. meier

12:55 ha! mr. meier flips over last stacking tray, reveals reference info for the judges to use in evaluation – way clever set design

Matija Hrkac, Good Food, Croatia @kavica_org

[Full Performance Video]

1:03 does heavy use of the drive soundtrack makes matija hrkac the Kevin Bohlin of Eastern Europe? the mind boggles.

1:10 uses a brazilian coffee for his cappuccino course – big smile on his face up on stage – “like warm rice, with touch of peanut butter”

1:18 cool! pear-shaped small sig drink glasses, served on the upside down base of a wine glass – drink features water, sugar, and cherries – “a lovely kind of cherry, not maraschino!”

Fabrizio Sención Ramírez, Cafe Sublime, Mexico

[Full Performance Video]

1:24 mr. ramirez’ routine is a tribute to the margogype arabica variety – for reference, he’s pronouncing it “marga-oh-hee-pay”

1:25 fabrizio pays individual attention to each of the 4 judges – he isolates each of them and gives specific instructions – some served espresso in a capp cup, some shots pulled to bring out “the dark side of margogype” – a completely different espresso experience for each judge, from flatware to flavor notes – to clarify, this is very difficult.

1:27 mr. ramirez is one of 4 #wbc2012 finalists serving coffee from their home country – his margogype comes from chiapas, southern mexico

1:37 coffee leaf & chafe infusions paired with espresso for fab’s sig drink – flavors of oolong tea, fresh tobacco, tamarind, melon

1:40 the best song of #wbc2012 comes courtesy of fabrizio sencion ramirez – “hey lupe, lupita mi amor…


8. Colin Harmon, 3FE (Third Floor Espresso), Ireland @dublinbarista @3FE

[Full Performance Video]

1:44 much waving of scarves and assorted whooping as mr. harmonis announced

1:48 we talk often about intentionality in a competition setting – this routine is an excellent expressionof the concept

1:52 capps with notes of “dark chocolate, malt, and pistachio”

1:55 mr. harmon competes using a pulp natural pacamara from nicaragua, andshould perhaps be issued points for playing “islands in the stream

2:00 “be nice to people. build trust.” @dublinbarista #wbc2012 another very steady routine, all drinks down at 12:30 with plenty of time to chat

9. Stefanos Domatiotis, Cafe Taf, Greece @stefanosook @tafcoffee

[Full Performance Video]

2:04 mr. domatiotis was trained for #wbc2012 by tracy allen @brewedbehavior (who, btw, is the roger sterling of specialty coffee)

2:07 mr. domatiotis’ coffee was processed by @aidbattle in 3 different styles, but actually grown at a nearby finca in el salvador

2:08 stefanos starts the judges out by brewing two infusions of cascara – dark color, lactic acidity – “aroma reminds me of mill where this coffee was processed”

2:18 the transformation @stefanosook inhabits on stage is extraordinary – from grecian bon vivant to competition warrior

2:19 of course mr. domatiotis ends the routine with “zorba the greek” – entire audience is clapping, greek flags flying… #wbc2012 is really fun…stefanos thanks his many influences, trainers, & coffee producers while pouring capps – cleans up a bit, “zorba” reaches its peak, and he calls “time” at 15 even

10. Ricardo Azofeifa, Costa Rica Coffee Institute (ICAFE), Costa Rica@ICAFE_COSTARICA

[Full Performance Video]

2:26 “producers, roasters and baristas have an open dialogue that has evolved into a new coffee dictionary…fortunately costa rica is part of that dialogue” – the micromill revolution encapsulated by mr. azofeifa

2:30 mr. azofeifa competes using a costa rican “black honey processed” geisha

2:33 sig drink: chaf, cascara, and and green coffee, brewed together in the traditional CR “sock” brewing method – steeped in lukewarm water – poured over cooled espresso into champagne flute

2:38 this is a really subtle routine, but all of mr. azofeifA’s drinks look gorgeous

11. Miki Suzuki, Maruyama Coffee, Japan @maruyamacoffee

[Full Performance Video]

2:48 ms. suzuki serves 2 kinds of natural processed nicaraguan coffee to the judges

2:49 “this delicate natural coffee is so beautiful – it such an elegant coffee!”

2:51 miki traveled solo to the farms in nicaragua from whence hercompetition coffees originate – this kind of journey, involvement in all the touch points for specialty coffee, has been a running theme for many in semi-finals

2:53 miki is in such complete control of any and all liquids she pours – an elemental mastery of service on display

2:56 it’s not that miki is incapable of messing up – of course she is, we all are – it’s just that, as a viewer in this audience, during this routine, you simply cannot imagine her doing so

2:59 her routine is so personal – “i wanted to know how to produce such a wonderful natural coffee!” – so she went to nicaragua, and was truly touched by how the coffee was carefully treat – “like a baby!”

12. Daniel Mendez, Viva Espresso, El Salvador @vivaespresso1 @DaniMendezVE

[Full Performance Video]

3:09 mr. mendez’ routine is an ode to finca santa petrona 100% red bourbon, from where else, el salvador – de-pulped live on stage

3:13 dig the whole style here – matte black and silver everywhere, offset with simple eggshell ceramic for the cap cupps – shimmering black mini lazy susans, such a clever routine service implement

3:16 this routine, in conjunction with alejandro mendez’sworld championship win last year, adds up to a persuasive argument for Viva Espresso in El Salvadoras an international competition powerhouse

3:19 sig drink: de-pulped coffee cherry live on stage, mixed with fresh cascara and turbonado sugar, then heated on individual burners – espresso is then poured through mucilage-cling cherry and cascara mixture, filtered, and served