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At the "Olympic Games" for professional coffee makers
Local Vancouver Barista Places 2nd in World Barista Championship
Vancouver, BC/ Toronto, Ont. (June 25, 2004) - Sammy Piccolo is not only the best Barista in Canada, he’s just about the best Barista in the world after taking 2nd place at the fifth annual World Barista Championships held in Trieste, Italy - June 20th, 2004.
This is the first time Canada has sent a competitor to the event and the heat was high as Salvatore (Sammy) Piccolo of Vancouver, BC battled for the world title of best professional coffee bartender ("Barista") competing in a field from 37 nations.
In competition, the Barista's have 15 minutes to prepare four servings each of espresso; cappuccino and a signature drink of their own invention. Piccolo’s Canadian title, which sent him to the worlds, was won with technical skill and a risky, unconventional signature drink which he calls "Insieme," meaning "together", a blend of curry, bittersweet chocolate, egg yolks, raw sugar and espresso.
The competitors are marked by a panel of judges, (who themselves are put through rigorous training) both tasting and technical, who look at everything from how the competitors grind and press the coffee, extraction, speed, cleanliness of the workstation, presentation and taste. They are also evaluated on the Barista's performance, which usually includes providing running commentary, remaining calm & cool and even specially chosen music.
In Italy, Piccolo scored 656 points, just behind Norway’s Tim Wendelboe, who scored 662 points, and just ahead of third place Klaus Thomsen of Denmark, who scored 655 points.
Piccolo, who along with his brother Vince owns and operates Caffe Artigiano in Vancouver, is the two-time Canadian Champion, having defended his title on June 12, 2004 at the 2nd annual Canadian Barista Championship which took place at the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre in conjunction with Canadian Coffee & Tea Expo, Canada’s leading trade show and educational forum for the coffee and tea industries.
The 2nd annual Canadian Barista Championship in Vancouver, which debuted at last year’s Canadian Coffee & Tea Expo, drew large crowds and provided an opportunity for audience members to learn about the skills that it takes to make a proper espresso beverage. Fourteen Barista from across Canada took their best shot at the Canadian title on June 11 & 12 in Vancouver; finishing in the top three were Sammy Piccolo, Caffe Artigiano, (1st place) Nicole Shulz, JJBean House of Coffee (2nd place) and Angie Lof, JJBean House of Coffee (3rd place)
Piccolo’s second Canadian title will make him Canada's representative again at the 2005 world championships to be held in Seattle, Washington, where he hopes his training this year will move him into the World Barista Championship's number one position.
The Canadian Coffee & Tea Expo is designed to meet the needs of retailers, restaurateurs, foodservice operators and buyers from all sectors of the trade. Canada’s largest show of its kind featured over 100 companies displaying products from across North America and around the world at the two-day trade show - from espresso machines, tea filters, roasters, cups and bin dispensers to smoothies, flavorings, organic coffee and tea, gelato and Yerba mate. The trade forum offers the country’s largest educational program for the new entrepreneur and seasoned professional alike. It featured more than 20 classes for improving day-to-day operations, building sales, coffee brewing, Barista training presented by the newly launched Canadian Barista Academy, tea preparation, retailing and staff training, and presentations on sustainability, industry trends and statistics, roasting, coffee cupping and tea tastings. Also launched at this year’s show was a coffee and tea knowledge program for the consumer.
The Canadian Barista Championship is endorsed by the Coffee Association of Canada and the 2004 contest was sponsored by Rancilio, Oscars Syrups, Da Vinci Gourmet/Kerry Group Foodservice, Krups, Dairyland, Hamilton Beach, Miller Springs, CoffeeGeek.com
For information on the World Barista Championship contest visit: www.worldbaristachampionship.com <http://www.worldbaristachampionship.com>
For information on the Coffee & Tea Expo call Vida Radovanovic: (416) 784-5210. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> for updates visit www.coffee-expo.com
For information and pictures of this year’s Canadian Barista contest visit: www.coffeegeek.com
For information on Caffe Artigiano or to speak with or interview Sammy Piccolo, please visit www.caffeartigiano.com <http://www.caffeartigiano.com> or call 604-685-5333
For information on the Coffee Association of Canada please contact www.coffeeassoc.com <http://www.coffeeassoc.com>
Culinary & Hospitality Marketing, Public Relations & Special Events 8-877 West 7th Avenue Vancouver, BC V5Z 1C2