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Reports From the Road
Photo Essay: 2nd Annual CBC Finals
Author: Mark Prince
Posted: June 18, 2004
Article rating: 9.3
feedback: (10) comments | read | write

A week ago, Canada held it's second annual Canadian Barista Championships (CBC) in Vancouver at the Canadian Coffee and Tea Expo. Returning Champ Sammy Piccolo was coming back to defend his title - other Baristi returned as well to compete once again. And we had some new competitors this time around, including Nicky Schultz of JJ Bean, Zak Lakic of Artigiano, and even Jeanette Chan, of CoffeeGeek!

Fourteen competitors in all were present, making for a great competition.

CoffeeGeek's News Editor Finishes 8th

Jeanette Chan, CoffeeGeek's own news editor and the first amateur to compete in a Barista competition in N. America in the past five years, had a wonderful performance. Please excuse a bit of website-nepotism as we present Jeanette's competing round where she finished 8th in a group of 14 competitors.

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Table Setting
As she prepares in her warmup, her table setting gets prepared.
Illy Cups
Jeanette went for some great quality bar cups done in the Dreams and Conflicts art set from Illy. These cups were thick!
Warming up
The face of intensity as she plows through her 15 minute warm up and prep.
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Illy Cups
Each cup had a distinct look, but was also part of a set.
Spot the Sheep?
Part of Jeanette's theme for her competition was dreams... the sheep in the Chinese Orchid plant she used were part of it.
Time for a smile
She has time for a smile near the end of her warmup.
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Getting ready
Time to do a final dial in of the grinder. I bought that grinder, partially so that Jeanette could use it in competition. Got it for $265 almost new!
High Counter
Even though you can't see it, Jeanette had to stand on tip-toes to tamp with her usual and proper technique.
Shots!
Wow, look at those luscious shots forming. Not too shabby! The beans used came from our own blend - we cupped 12 coffees, and settled on a 3 bean blend I roasted four days before competition.
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Let's get it on!
Jeanette starts her competition. She's setting the table for the judges.
High Counter
That high counter made it a challenge, but she dealt with it and soldiered on.
WOW
Pouring her first cappuccino... why the wow? Read on...
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Pouring her second
Pouring the second cappa. I can tell you as a judge, these would garner a 3.5 or 4 on the visuals... which is a great score. Highest I gave was a 4.5 and a 5 to Zak
First Two
Now for the "wow". A month before competition, Jeanette couldn't even FROTH milk. I'm not kidding. Training (from moi! :)) and a lot of gallons later, she was frothing like a total pro.
It's over!
It's all over - now it's time for smiles and serious satisfaction in her performance.

Announcing Finalists

At midday, the finalists were announced, but before that, all fourteen competiting Baristi were called on stage and applauded by the crowd for their efforts. Krups was an amazing sponsor this year and they gave each of the fourteen Baristi a $350 Krups espresso machine - an extremely generous prize.

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Krups is Kool!
Raffi Kouyoumdjian from Krups explains why they are happy to be part of this event.
Sizing
Supersize or the 3 oz cup? Jeanette stands to the right of Zak Lakic.
Doling out the hardware
Raffi hands an espresso machine to Joseph, the first Barista to compete.
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Sammy Piccolo
Last year's champ, Sammy, gets his Krups espresso machine.
Barrett
Barrett, from Kits Coffee receives his prize
Sarah
Sarah receives her Krups machine from Raffi
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Crossing Fingers
Jeanette crosses her fingers as the final six are about to be called up.
Reg Barber
Reg is in the yellow shirt and front and centre for the announcement.
Zak!
Zak from Caffe Artigiano is in the final six!
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Lino
Lino from Brazza Coffee and Gelato is announced
Raymond
Raymond (yellow shirt) gets congrats from Lino
Angie Lof
Angie from JJ Bean is announced as a final six competitor
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Nicky
Nicky Schultz from JJ Bean is announced
Congrats
The final six congratulate each other.
James
One of the non-competiting top notch BAristi, James Neate from JJ (couldn't compete because of the 2 per cafe limit), helped out as a runner.

The Finals!

Here are most of the competitors in the finals. Notable by his absence in our photos is Sammy Piccolo. Rest assured, he did compete, and did amazing - but CoffeeGeek's photographer was off elsewhere, due to a schedule conflict, and missed photographing him - Sammy went first in the finals.

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Judges calibrate
The judges get together for a tete a tete before the finals
Yours truly
That's Steven Vick on the left and Mark Prince on the right as we discuss judging in the finals.
Lino
Lino of Brazza Cafe starts his signature drinks
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Signature drinks
I can tell you as a judge, these signature drinks were fantastic.
Angie Preps
Angie Lof of JJ Bean preps in the back for her 15 minutes.
Bill Hearne
Bill Hearne, centre camera, gets his signature drink from Lino
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Evaluating
Judges from left to right - Bill Hearne, Steven Vick, Sherri Johns (white shirt, back to camera) and Mark Prince
Angie
Angie carries her kit up to the front for her 15 minute warmup
Zak Lakic
Zak starts his competition with Aaron DeLazzer, technical judge looking on.
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Scrutinize!
Alexarc Mastema watches like a hawk as Zak tamps.
Crowd
Full house watching the finals!
Milk
Watching the shots develop as Zak preps his milk. Zak was an amazing performer this day.
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Pouring Latte Art
Zak poured beautiful latte art in all his cappuccinos, but still had over a cm of foam in the cups.
Checking
As Zak presents his cappuccinos, Alexarc, the technical judge, checks the groupheads.
Preparing the Sig
Zak commences the build of his signature drink.
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Judges wait
The sensory judges wait for Zak's signature drink.
Latte Art
Beautiful latte art pours on the sig drinks as well.
Karen
Karen, of Ethical Coffee of Burnaby, was a superstar at the show, acting as super-assitant for Vida, the show organizer. She actually found a few free moments to watch the competition.
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The Piccolos
Sammy and Vince (foreground, middle) Piccolo watch the other competitors as Vince chats with Ken Beasley.
Angie Lof
Angie from JJ Bean gets into her fifteen minute competition. She's prepping her cappuccino.
Like a Hawk, redux
Alexarc was a maestro technical judge, watching everything!
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Rapport
Hard to tell from a still photo, but Angie had a great rapport with the Emcee as she went through her drink prep.
Signatures
Angie's a blur as she builds her signature drink - a very taste mixture of citrus and espresso.
Doling
Doling out some flavoured froth for the drinks.
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After Comp
Angie can breathe a sigh of relief as her competition is over and she's being interviewed by Danny Johns, the Emcee.
A guy to watch for
Allistair, in the blue shirt in the middle, watches the competiton. He's the owner of the Elysian Room cafe in Vancouver - and he better compete next year!
Raymond
Raymond, 2nd last competitor in the finals, builds his signature drink.
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Prepping shots
Look at the crema on thos shots of espresso. WOW. I remember a few years ago it was difficult convincing a professor that one could achieve over a CM of crema on a shot. Have a look.
Drink building
These drinks were one of the best tasting drinks in the competition. Unfortunately they lost taste points because espresso couldn't cut through.
Finishing the build
Finishing the signature drink build.
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Judging Raymond
The judges evaluate Ray's tasty signature drink.
Nicky Schultz
Nicky from JJ Bean was the final competitor, and she introduced herself to the judges and set the table.
Like a hawk, threepeat
There's Alexarc, showing what it takes to be a first rate technical judge.
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Building
Aaron DeLazzer (far right, crouched) also studies as Nicky goes through her relaxed routine.
Prepping
Nicky had a great demanor up there on stage, chatting with the crowd, even!
Cheers!
The judges drink Nicky's signature drink, served in very unique glasses, and a combo of hot and cold.

The Winner is....

After some tense moments and much calculating and double checking of the numbers, we were ready to hear the winner and top three positions. Sammy Piccolo is the returning champ, and took the top honours for the second year! As of this writing, Sammy is in Trieste, and he just came through the preliminary rounds in the top six, placing him in the finals on Sunday, June 20. Way to go Sammy!

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Announcing
The three primary sponsors are up on stage for the announcing.
Vida Radovanovic
The show's prime organizer, and founding "mother" of the CBC addresses the crowd and gives her thanks to various sponsors and contributors, including CoffeeGeek!
Sherri Johns
The CBC Coordinator addresses the crowd, and thanks the judges, runners and Kyle Larson, Barista from Zoka, for all their help.
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Zak Lakic
Zak of Caffe Artigiano takes fourth place!
Angie Lof
Angie, of JJ Bean House of Coffee takes 3rd!
Nicky Schultz
Nicky of JJ Bean, House of Coffee, takes 2nd!
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Sammy Piccolo
Sammy, co-owner of Caffe Artigiano, takes first for the second year in a row!
Sammy Piccolo
Sammy addresses the crowd, gives his thanks to fellow competitors and his coworkers.
Sammy
Sammy displaying his winning trophy, custom reg barber tamper, and the Silvia and Rocky combo he won.
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Top Three
Nicky, Sammy and Angie celebrate their win!
Happy Day
Glenn Surlett of Rancilio poses with the top three. Sherri Johns, the CBC Coordinator and WBC board member and judge joins the pose.
Canadians on the Map
With Sammy finishing in the top six in the World Barista Championships just today, Canada is definitely on the world map in terms of quality espresso!
Article rating: 9.3
Author: Mark Prince
Posted: June 18, 2004
feedback: (10) comments | read | write
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