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What's Wrong with the WBC, Professionally Speaking
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MarshallF
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Posted Sun Jun 22, 2008, 7:08am
Subject: Re: What's Wrong with the WBC, Professionally Speaking
 

IMAWriter Said:

(OT) Marshall...would you please PM me the link to your thread?

Posted June 21, 2008 link

OT Thread here
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pstam
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Posted Sun Jun 22, 2008, 7:09am
Subject: Re: What's Wrong with the WBC, Professionally Speaking
 

nobbi4711 Said:

EXTREMELY GOOD POINT!!!!

We "Old Europeans" are always told that you American guys are the "showmen" ;-) So why isn't the WBC a show? F.... the hell who becomes the champion, as it's 50% by accident -> the brew temperature can't be influenced by the barista which is a big shame IMO. Having worked on a lot of machines and also several double boilers (DC, VFA, Marzocco) I absolutely disagree with the author's blog being machines like ECM Veneziano the best ever built.  But back to topic: Make a big show of it. Let other top baristas make drinks a lot for the public while the competitors do their job. Let the people try the best espresso/cappa/latte they ever had. And do the whole thing in the middle of NY City or elsewhere. Lots of Latte Art, good music and perfect coffee... I guess one such event would reach more people than 10 WBC's like the actual one.

Greetings \\//

Marcus

Posted June 22, 2008 link


It is fully and absolutely right.

 
Peter in Beijing
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pstam
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Posted Sun Jun 22, 2008, 7:13am
Subject: Re: What's Wrong with the WBC, Professionally Speaking
 

What “KanChan” said is quite general among the general people, consumers, baristas and most others.

Besides the problems said by “Instaurator” and “MarkPrince”, it is important for people, both baristas and consumers, to know by tasting the shots made by those competitors. Short ago, maybe for Australian championship, they have a special booth for those competitors to make shots for visitors, after they finish their show. It is a real innovation and works for interaction among competitors and visitors, I believe. I hope that it can be adapted by the following competitions.

It works in two ways; one is to educate the people what a good shot is, and the other is to show that those competitors are really qualified. This may not be a problem for other industries, but really a big doubt for coffee industry.

Back to the problems of Instaurator and Mark, the organization structure of SCAA and WBC is a big problem. For years, people talked about it, but not seen much improved. Not even seen much to do for improvement.

Internationality: there are people who expect SCAA to work not only in the US market, but also to the global market. Is that possible? Generally speaking, yes. But, the precondition for it is the leading development in the world industry. And, the second is the international management, including the international members at high management level and related structures.

SCAA is in a position which can have strong influence to the world industry, like their influence to the Italian young baristas. If it, in fact, lower the quality of coffee brewing, is it possible to keep it going forever or at least for a long period of time? Theoretically, no. Due to the very strong promotion activities and magic games, people might do it, like MacDonald did for their “qualified” hamburgers. I do hope not.

For example, our Barista Training can be better than theirs. In this case, how their promotion can be accepted by the world industry? If our baristas can make better espresso drinks, do they have to lower their quality of espresso drinks to satisfy the requirements of SCAA?

From some of the local authorities of the Chinese government, they issued some standards for baristas, but we simply forget it and no one in the local coffee industry really care of it, at least as I know.

 
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IMAWriter
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Posted Mon Jun 23, 2008, 11:12pm
Subject: Re: What's Wrong with the WBC, Professionally Speaking
 

Thanks Marshall...interesting reading, especially since I frequented the cafe to which "Jasonian" referred...per his recommendation. We had a couple of shots together the next day of my visit in Lubbock.


EDIT...whoops...sorry for the OT...my bad.

 
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alsterling
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Posted Wed Jun 25, 2008, 10:20pm
Subject: Re: What's Wrong with the WBC, Professionally Speaking
 

I appreciated reading your thoughts. The reformation of standards, and the hopeful stabilization of world wide standards, is probably more probably a long term thing rather than it being a short term reality. Here in the US, I go to the trade shows and see a very young "third wave" industry, with predominantly young people at the helm. The major coffee retailers are perfecting the "Big Mac" of espresso, while WBC participants, for instance, are "going where few coffee people dare to go." It appears, from my outside view, an experimental field. So I'm not shocked by turmoil or controversy. It makes sense to me.  

My curiousity is, after you have all these trained and certified baristas, how do you find retail businesses qualified to house them? I said it on Marshall's post in the forum; there needs to be an agressive specialty coffee retailer support, training and certification program. Without that, having a bunch of trained baristas, and a few champions, won't speed up the positive growth of this industry as much as more champion retail business owners who can provide the funding and a great place for these baristas.

How about the WR(retailer)C coupled with the WBC? Makes more sense to me.

 
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pstam
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Posted Thu Jun 26, 2008, 6:42am
Subject: Re: What's Wrong with the WBC, Professionally Speaking
 

alsterling Said:

How about the WR(retailer)C coupled with the WBC? Makes more sense to me.

Posted June 25, 2008 link


Wow, any further description about it?

 
Peter in Beijing
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alsterling
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Posted Thu Jun 26, 2008, 7:46am
Subject: Re: What's Wrong with the WBC, Professionally Speaking
 

Peter, in your earlier reply, you said;
"From some of the local authorities of the Chinese government, they issued some standards for baristas, but we simply forget it and no one in the local coffee industry really care of it, at least as I know."

I'm wondering if your interpretation of "standards" in this industry is flavored by your exposure to the Chinese government's approach to "mandating" rather than letting industry run in a more "free enterprise" manner? If I'm wrong on this, or if you have similar business freedoms as we do here in the US, I'd like to hear about that sometime.

My comments about certification in my other post were not based on a government run or mandated program. My thoughts are based on the free enterprise and "entrepenuerial friendly" atmosphere here in the US. Can a standards system go wrong? Of course. But if we only play "Devil's Advocate", then we may not get to play at all.

I just wanted to make sure you understood where I was coming from on the development of industry standards.

Best, Al

 
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pstam
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Posted Thu Jun 26, 2008, 8:18am
Subject: Re: What's Wrong with the WBC, Professionally Speaking
 

First, I would say that I carefully read your post and try to avoid any mis-understanding.  But, I am still not sure of it.  So, if anything wrong, please let me know and forgive me.


alsterling Said:

I'm wondering if your interpretation of "standards" in this industry is flavored by your exposure to the Chinese government's approach to "mandating" rather than letting industry run in a more "free enterprise" manner? If I'm wrong on this, or if you have similar business freedoms as we do here in the US, I'd like to hear about that sometime.

Posted June 26, 2008 link

Yes, we are lucky enough to be free to do our business.  That is why we can ignore those standards.  There is a very important theory that everyone have to take care of their own business.  If I invested and others people to run it, what would happen?  It is not their money so they never care.


alsterling Said:

My comments about certification in my other post were not based on a government run or mandated program. My thoughts are based on the free enterprise and "entrepenuerial friendly" atmosphere here in the US. Can a standards system go wrong? Of course. But if we only play "Devil's Advocate", then we may not get to play at all.

Posted June 26, 2008 link

I understand you, but in fact, it won't be the truth.  I mean, it is your good desire but it won't be going as you supposed or would, in the real world.  The mass people may not understand it as "entrepenuerial friendly", but something different.

Whatever the coffee professionals know about it, the clients might not, and if some of cafes have it labeled and others not, the clients may trust the ones with such a label.  There are two things to be concerned.  One is the difficulties of the "Standards of Coffee Drinks", and the second is that even if it can distinguish the good cafes from the "bad ones", who have the right to disturb others' business?  Who judge and who take the activities?  If we could do, we could do the same to Mcdonald, I suppose.  But, but, I do not think so.


alsterling Said:

I just wanted to make sure you understood where I was coming from on the development of industry standards.

Posted June 26, 2008 link

Sorry, I really cannot be sure what it means.

 
Peter in Beijing
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Ishida
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Posted Thu Jul 3, 2008, 8:06am
Subject: Re: What's Wrong with the WBC, Professionally Speaking
 

Almost the same here in Brazil.. I just think it's a little worse...
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