In the first original article for CoffeeGeek's newest column, Mark talks about the Western Canadian Regional Barista Championship, some magical moments in a place you'd least expect it, and experiencing the Esmeralda Especiale.
geek Senior Member Joined: 14 Jun 2004 Posts: 91 Location: Vancouver, Canada Expertise: Pro Roaster
Espresso: Kees v.d. Westen Spirit Grinder: Robur Es Vac Pot: Hario Siphon Drip: Fetco Roaster: 60kg Renegade, 5kg Renegade,...
Posted Sat Aug 18, 2007, 12:37am Subject: Re: From the poorest postal code to the most expensive coffee by Mark Prince
I've filled out a bio for one article, and had a phone interview for another about poor quality in restaurants, competitions, Esmerelda, etc. in the last 24h. There is more of news to come over the next month on this topic.
Posted Sat Aug 18, 2007, 9:03pm Subject: Re: From the poorest postal code to the most expensive coffee by Mark Prince
I dropped by the Heritage Hall on Tuesday And Wednesday to see just what was happening at the Western Regional Barista Competition and Coffee Fair. Even after regular study at the Coffee Geek site I really wasn't aware of the event until two days before. I was picking up a pound of coffee from Wicked Cafe and just happened to see a pamphlet. Luckily I had the days off and thought it would be interesting to see what goes on. I was expecting by the term 'coffee fair' that there would be some local equipment suppliers and coffee roasters showing off their toys and beans. When I dropped in on Tuesday there were a few machines on display but it really looked like the few people that were there were just getting set up for the next day. Not much happening otherwise that would interest a consumer and I left after about 5 minutes.
I did come back on Wednesday during the competition and stayed for a couple of hours. Again not a lot going on for the consumer other than the actual competition but that was well worth seeing and I'm glad I came back.
I for one would definitely be a lot more interested next year if there are formal or even informal consumer education programs and if you can get the consumers to show up it should be straight forward to get a few equipment and accessory suppliers along with a few roasters to show off their wares. Count me in if you can accomplish that. It will take a little promotion though.
ChrisCullum Senior Member Joined: 19 Jan 2005 Posts: 75 Location: Vancouver Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Expobar Office Lever Grinder: Macap M4 stepless doser,...
Posted Tue Aug 21, 2007, 8:20pm Subject: Re: From the poorest postal code to the most expensive coffee by Mark Prince
I also dropped by on Tues. I actually had to look at one of the flyers because I thought I got the day wrong. It said Coffee Fair but it was pretty much just set-up and an intro-barista course. I still hung around for a while but there wasn't much going on for the public. I went back on Wed for the comp but I felt a bit uneasy. It was cool to see the Baristi in action but I felt kinda out of place. Like "who do you know"? It seemed mostly industry insiders and friends of the competitors etc. I guess I could have introduced myself to Mark or someone. What do you say "hi there, I don't know you but I really enjoy espresso."? OK buddy. Was the other Nuova Simonelli machine available for the public to have a go with? I did not get that impression. Anyway I'm not trying to be negative because I did enjoy the competition. I guess from Mark's commentary as well it could be a little more accessible to the public (even for the Coffee Geek converted).
jazflores Senior Member Joined: 21 Aug 2007 Posts: 2 Location: Philippines Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Tue Aug 21, 2007, 9:52pm Subject: Re: From the poorest postal code to the most expensive coffee by Mark Prince
hey i've read about the barista competition and I was saddened to read that the event didn't do as well as you've expected, meaning that it could have done better. We had a national coffee forum and barista competition here too (i'm from the philippines) last May and only a few people came to the event. Maybe because it wasn't promoted very well. And not that many coffee shops participated in the competition.
Posted Wed Aug 22, 2007, 1:47pm Subject: Re: From the poorest postal code to the most expensive coffee by Mark Prince
Regarding the press, I think the Today show on NBC did an OK job on "Esmeralda Especial." They had a good sound bite, "Coffee is the new wine." They talked about the price, but didn't start comparing it to say, Dunkin Donuts. Anyhow, it got me thinking about buying it, especially since they had Mike Perry (from my usual bean source, Klatch Roasting) on the segment. 79.00 US$ per 1/2 pound green ...hmmm....maybe if they threw in free shipping....
John_Manzo Senior Member Joined: 5 Aug 2005 Posts: 318 Location: Calgary Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Elektra Microcasa a Leva,... Grinder: Baratza Vario Vac Pot: none Drip: presspot Roaster: nada (yet)
Posted Sun Aug 26, 2007, 10:50am Subject: Re: From the poorest postal code to the most expensive coffee by Mark Prince
I think the greater tragedy about the WBC was not the absence of some formidable Vancouver shops, but the COMPLETE absence of ANY shops outside Vancouver-Victoria (and BC). "Western Canada" comprises Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC. How about moving the competition around?
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