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Monthly Archives: February 2014

The first day of the Swiss Coffee Championships is over! I’m really thankful to Milo Kamil and Phillip Henauer, it’s absolutely their fault I’m a part of the staff for the event, thank you! They gave me the amazing opportunity to help for the smooth running of the competition, but also to get to meet the best baristi in Switzerland, who obviously have the guts to compete.

 I cannot put in words all the feelings and emotions I experienced today. It was exciting and exhausting! There was the Latte Art qualification round, (for which I, as a volunteer, had to take photos of the competitors’ designer lattes) and the qualification for Barista category. The finals for these two are tomorrow with the qualification round for Brewers Cup.

The finalists in Latte Art are Celine Huber, Milo Kamil, Tito Huber, André Gabriel and Pillip Gobat. They showed their absolutely amazing latte designs (sorry I don’t have any good pictures to upload) – very creative and complicated, with a lot of etching. But this was easy compared to what’s waiting for them tomorrow, and that is two identical espressi macchiato and two pairs of identical lattes and that only for eight minutes! No shaky hands tomorrow please!

The finalists in Barista category are Michel Aeschbacher, Nina Rimpl, Janine Landolt, Benjamin Hohlman, Michal Otte and Daniel Sanchez. If tomorrow the Latte Art category is tough, than the difficulty of this one is going to be insane. No kidding! All of these people deserve the first place! But I guess now everything comes to the type and number of mistakes you make on stage, the quality of the coffee is high anyway. I hope there won’t be any nervous breakdowns, because a lot of pressure.

More to come tomorrow. It’s going to be a long day, so I’ll try to sleep a bit.

p.s. This is a special shout out to a favorite of mine – Katinka Tappe, who didn’t manage to get to the Barista finals – Katinka, you did a marvelous job, I don’t know if you’re competing next year, but if you don’t – I’ll make you!

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This morning I made my dad a cup of coffee, actually I poured him from mine, which at the moment is Finca Tamana (part of Tim Wendelboe’s interesting project in Columbia). Aand he didn’t like it…when last month I was in Bulgaria, most of my friends didn’t like it either. Back then I brought something different to drink, but that’s not the point. Great, now you probably think I’m a terrible brewer…Anyway, what I am trying to say is specialty coffee is very distinct from commercial coffee and yet (some) people are unaware of the differences. I’m not judging anyone for their taste in coffee, I believe everyone should be given the opportunity to choose. But believe it or not, most of the people will make the convenient, common choice. Because it’s easier to choose something you’re familiar with – like a vacuum pack of ground coffee from the supermarket. But if you are a coffee lover, I recommend you, no, I dare you to see what all the fuss is about. Get involved, be an explorer! You’ll be amazed to find out how diverse the specialty coffee scene is – there is such a big variety of freshly roasted single origin coffees. You can try this coffee, than that coffee, then you’ll brew it this way, then that way…ah, it’s so easy to get carried away. There’s a really nice article on specialty coffee by the administrative director of SCAA Don Holly, you can read it here.

I remember how we – Karla, Snehaa and me – started getting into specialty coffee. Actually it’s quite funny, I remember us hanging out in Room 409 as usual, sipping from this unfamiliar drink and discussing its flavor. You probably haven’t tasted coffee like this. I have to admit, that at first we didn’t like it, I clearly remember the descriptive word “vegetal” in one of our conversations. But it really is shocking how much aromas and flavors we were missing drinking the stale ground coffee we were used to. People like what they drink on a regular basis, and there are already expectations on what coffee is, nobody knows yet that it can be fruity for example, most of the people are expecting it to be this very dark, smoky, ashy beverage.  And as a friend of mine said, if everybody says that your coffee is shit, no matter what you think, at the end of the day, it stays shit, so…better make myself another cup of this weird concoction of mine.