Over 10,000 Attend International Competition and Another 40,000 Watch Worldwide
Baristas from over 53 nations converged in Bogotá, Colombia for the 12th Annual World Barista Championship in early June and Alejandro Mendez from Viva Espresso in El Salvador edged American Pete Licata for the Championship.
The global event promotes excellence in coffee, focusing and advancing the profession of barista and was viewed by over 50,000 world wide. Attendance was at an all-time high for the festivities hosted this year by the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation.
Alejandro Mendez won for the first time in only his second visit to the World Barista Championship just beating the US Champion Pete Licata from the Honolulu Coffee Company. Mendez takes the title home to El Salvador and it is the first time the winner has come from a coffee-producing company.
The event truly is an international exhibition and the winners reflect the global reach and growth of coffee through a network of professional baristas. The third place winner was Matt Preger of Axil Coffee Roasters in Australia and Europe was represented by fourth place winner Javier Garcia of Spain. Miki Suzuki of Japan rounded out the top five finalists.
Mendez won using his knowledge of coffee processing and preparation choosing Salvadoran coffee accented with an hand-crafted infusion of coffee pulp for his signature drink. The Grand Prize Package was the biggest ever as well with a number coffee products and gifts as well as an Athena Espresso Machine and trips to visit Mahlkoenig Grinders in Hamburg, Germany and a trip to Brazil sponsored by Café Exports.
Over 10,000 coffee producers, industry professionals, and suppliers were in attendance and another 40,000 watched the online video stream. The 2011 World Barista Championship was produced by World Coffee Events and was founded by the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe and the Specialty Coffee Association of America.