If you see me sometimes at the Roastery or Open Eye Cafe and I look a step slow or a little tired, there’s a good reason…
It’s called travel. And, I do a lot of it to make sure we are bringing you the best coffee, cutting edge preparation and that our industry is one to be proud of.
In the last couple of months I have been to Seoul, South Korea to judge the World Latte Art & World Coffee In Good Spirits Competition and then to Manila, Philippines, where I certified judges and oversaw their first sanctioned National Barista Competition.
This past weekend I was in Long Beach, CA at the Headquarters of the Specialty Coffee Association of America to be the instructor for World Coffee Events Judges Certification. This is where all judges must apply to be accepted to this workshop in order to be certified for upcoming World Competitions. These include World Barista Championship, but also World Brewers Cup (in Melbourne this year); World Latte Art & World Coffee in Good Spirits ( happening in Nice, France this year), and World Tasters Cup & Roasting Championships. These are events that happen at the National level around the world and then those champions go on the the World Championships – so we want the best judges ready!
From Long Beach I have headed up the California coast to Santa Cruz from March 13-17 for the U.S. Southwest Region Barista Championships ( one of 6 regionals we oversee in the U.S.) where I will train judges to be ready for the competition and serve as Head Judge. In Santa Cruz we will pick this Regions’ Champion, who will go on to our National Competition (USBC) which takes place in Boston, MA April 11-14. I am honored to be Head Judge at this event as well.
What about origin? Well, I am heading to Honduras March 21-25 to meet with farmers that we buy from and discussing this years’ crop. In Honduras I will also teach classes on espresso and roasting during the Copan Region Coffeefest, a regional educational and cultural coffee celebration event! Then it’s on to Guatemala to chat with farmers there and investigate new processing experiments we are engaged in with some farms. While there I will also work with good friend and 2012 World Barista Champion Raul Rodas, both with coffee process experiments and as he coordinates the Guatemala National Barista Championship…more certifications & judging in my future! After the USBC competition in April I will need to schedule more coffee trips to Nicaragua and El Salvador!
In May I will head to Melbourne for the World Barista Championships where I will also serve as Head Judge and help train/calibrate our pool of Judges. Approximately 63 countries will send a Champion to this exciting competition, and this is the first time it has been hosted in Australia! When I finally recover from this trip, I head to Rwanda in August (8/12-16), to judge the Cup of Excellence program there. I am very excited and honored to have been asked to join this group and find the best coffees coming out of that country this year and bring them back to share with our customers!
Hope to see you soon…