The 3rd annual world barista championships, (WBC), taking place between the 14th to 16th of June, began today in Oslo. Thomas Gauperaa, CoffeeGeek's intrepid Norwegian "man on the scene" was there soaking in the atmosphere, exhibits and of course the display of the baristas doing their magic. WBC has a website (website)
Last years event was held in Florida and was won by Martin Hildebrandt of Denmark. The Norwegian contestant, Tim Wendelbøe, came in second and will be representing Norway this year too. I spoke to him today and he seemed calm and focused. I think he will do great. A couple of days ago I did a short interview with him that will be published sometime next week I think.
The event is being held in a big conference hall and is joined by a pretty big exhibition of both equipment and different countries coffees.
The East-Timor delegation naturally got quite a lot of attention by the press. I also saw booths representing Ethiopia, Brazil, India, Costa Rica and more. The guys from Costa Rica were real nice and in no time equipped me with the full kit including a hat that I swear I will never use – that is in sober condition. They let me taste five different high grade arabica coffees that were all great by my humble palate. I learned that the Costa Rican people prefer drip with lots of body.
Probat was there as well as a German roaster which I don’t remember the name of. Probat had the standard shop roaster and the smaller 1 kilo – version on display. A nice representative told me that the small one costs about 8000 euros which quickly puts my thin wallet to shame. I must say that I was surprised of the way roasting coffee smells. It’s like slightly burnt popcorn, actually not a really nice smell, but as we all know it soon gets better.
| Alexander von der Lippe making a shot on the Rancilio Classe 10 3 group. Click to Enlarge |
I spent a lot of time at the Temperato/Rancilio booth. Temperato is the Norwegian importer of Rancilio machines and Ottolina espresso coffees. It is run by Alexander von der Lippe and his wife Pia Marian Granum.
A representative from Rancilio was there as well and I had a nice chat with him about the home machines, the newest 3 group "Classe 10" and about the Italian way of drinking coffee in general. Home machines aren't that big a market there. Most people make their coffee in a bialetti pot or go to their nearest coffee bar where they get a shot for a mere 0.8 euros!. That's really cheap compared to what the Norwegian bars charge. - 'nuff said!
I also stopped by the Gaggia booth and sampled some espresso from their new Gaggia Synchrony Compact (super automatic). They were using Arcaffee and the espresso was passable, actually quite thin and uninteresting. The design of the unit looks good and compact though and I think it can perform a lot better when properly adjusted and fed with fresher coffee. They also had a one and two group professional machine on display. I must say I don't like the design a lot, but I guess it's an ok machine performance wise. I will try to get some snapshots of it on Sunday.
| Competition area before the action started (La Marzoccos all over the place!). Click to Enlarge |
The semifinals are held today and tomorrow, and the final is on sunday. I watched some of the baristas work on the la marzocco machines. Holland impressed me with an excellent speciality drink containg spices and a great presentation. There were also baristas from countries like Poland, England, Israel and more. All in all nearly 40 countries will compete this year.
That's it for now. More to follow.
Thomas W. Gauperaa is a Norweigian and a coffee fanatic, and has taken on the role of being our reporter "on the scene" as it were from the Oslo World Championships. Look for Thomas' next reports in the next few days.