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Reports From the Road
Last Day at World Barista Championships
Posted: June 17, 2002
Article rating: 8.3
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
World Shot

Thomas Gauperaa was at the World Barista Championships again on Day Three of the competition, and reports in to the CoffeeGeek website with news about the winners and what took place

Lots of excitement and cheering at the final day of the WBC. The six finalists battled it out and the Dane Fritz Storm (is that a cool sounding name or what) won it all.

I arrived a bit late today and didn’t get to spend that much time at the exhibition. Instead I followed the competition closely. The audience was great support for the contenders and it all turned out to be very entertaining. With this level of interest and support the WBC will surely continue to grow.

I was especially impressed by the Indian contender, Vikram Khurana, who did a great performance with only a mere 8 months training as a barista. As I understood it our own Norwegian champ Tim Wendelbøe has been in India and helped baristas there. He must have done a great job because this guy was real calm and professional and generally kicked ass.

It is my impression that the ability to focus and concentrate, mental strength, is real important in this kind of competition. I bow deeply to the contestants for being able to do such a great job with all that pressure on their shoulders.

Wendelbøe did a great performance and I was almost certain he would be the world champion. Wendelbøe is very calm and professional and has a kind of smoothness and precision about the way he works that really impresses me. He did his espressos with a blend of Brasilian and Indian beans as far as I can recall. His speciality drink was called "Tim on the Beach" and was a small elegant thing consisting of passion fruit, espresso of course, cream and honey. Cool stuff, especially the name which is a follow-up to the drink he made in the Norwegian finals called "Tim on the Rocks".

The Dane Fritz Storm was very professional and like Wendelbøe, he did a very nice intro and generally did his role well. His technique was great and so was his speciality drink consisting of espresso topped with a kind of cream of blended tropical fruits. At the top he made a couple of nicely formed rings with chocolate sauce.

They all did latte art. Khurana, the Indian representative, did great hearts and Wendelbøe and Storm made beautiful rosettas in their cappuccinos. People interested in learning this should get the WBC-finals video soon to be available on the official WBC site.

I got the chance to talk to the American champion, Dismas Smith, after the show. He said he felt he had done an ok performance with less errors than he had in the semifinals. I wished him the best and was later a bit surprised to see him at sixth place. Well, as the presenter said: all these contenders are national champions and that is not easy to become. They have all trained very hard to get to this level.

Alexander von der Lippe

I also talked to Alexander von der Lippe again. I’ve been hanging around his Rancilio/Ottolina booth quite a lot both days. He’s a great guy that should get credit for boosting the interest in quality home espresso here in Norway. von der Lippe thinks the event was good in general considering it’s only the third year it’s being held. He believes though that WBC could benefit from being paired with some of the other big coffee related exhibitions/events around the world. He mentioned a big one in Milano. Marketing of the event and inclusion of the media could have been better too. The number of visitors hasn’t been quite where it could have been.

Final score list:

  1. Denmark, Fritz Storm
  2. Norway, Tim Wendelbøe (just 23 years old, this guy is just awesome! and
    a real nice person)
  3. India, Vikram Khurana
  4. Italy, Luigi Lupi (older guy with 25 years experience. Weird, angled, clumsy-looking tamping style but excellent espresso flow, i just don't get it.)
  5. New Zealand, Emma Markland-Webster
  6. USA, Dismas Smith

I’m very sorry not to have any pictures of the competition itself. My memory card was in a bad mood and wouldn’t function properly. I had to revert to my SLR with black and white film in it. Snapped a lot with that one though and I will try to scan and publish those in a couple of weeks.
(ednote: they will be added once received).

As promised I took some pictures of the professional Gaggia machines being displayed in the exhibition. It was a 1 and 2 – group. I also got a snapshot of the super automatic I mentioned in my first day report.

Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image
Gaggia Single Group, Click to Enlarge
Gaggia Double Group. Click to Enlarge
Gaggia Synchrony Compact. Click to Enlarge

Next year’s competition will be held in Boston. I hope to be there and have the chance to say hello to some of you guys.

Thomas W. Gauperaa is a Norwegian interaction designer and a coffee enthusiast. He lives in Oslo where the coffee culture is really booming at the moment. Other than getting buzzed on ristrettos he is for the moment hunting for a new job in the dreaded IT-industry.

Article rating: 8.3
Posted: June 17, 2002
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
Reports From the Road Column Archives  
Column Description
One of the more popular pieces of content on the CoffeeGeek website are the reports from major trade shows. We cover shows like no other media source does - giving first hand intimate and frank reports that give you the real scoop on what's going on, from a consumer and a coffee lover's true perspective.

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