We returned from Tsika in time to catch the Barista Championship. It's fair to say that I was chuffed/thrilled/nearly undone to have done the logo and branding for the event and to see it all up and looking -- I think-- lovely. It was a fun project and we'll get to recycle a lot of the artwork for next year (this was the idea - to create a whole event look, keep things clean and simple, and make an event brand that could carry on from year to year).
The competition set up was great and the level of competition only gets better each year. Big Kudos to the barisats and their sponsors for continuing to support the competition. This is the 9th year for Zambia to host a national competition. Alan got to participate as a sensory judge in the early rounds, and the Grandparents got to see the thing unfold from start to finish. I begged out of judging and was photographer instead. I can't handle that much coffee, so make a pretty useless judge.
Whether you are into this sort of thing or not, the details of the competition are amazing! The Zambia competition is set up to be just like the world competition from the scoring and requirements of the baristas to the equipment, the 'stage' and even the addition of a proper performance setting. We had our favorite Emcee, Chi, on the mic and a DJ on the soundboard, so the competition was...uh, what do the kids say? "Tight." yeah, the barista competition was tight. Right on.
(The only problem was that Chi was sporting his beard so was not his normal adorable self....something about not shaving until Liverpool won some hardware? What was he thinking? He's back to cleanshaven and Liverpool is without a trophy, so you make your own call on this guy if he's REALLY supporting his team or what. I'm teasing, of course. At least he pulled out the custom tailored suit. Nice threads, buddy.)
If you didn't catch last years' post, the deets are like this:
Three drinks each for four sensory judges in 15 minutes: espresso, cappuccino, signature beverage. Clean station; clear, factual and entertaining presentation; perfect 'pulls'; and no room for error. The winner gets a round trip ticket to the week long World Championships event in Italy and a massive trophy and of course the TITLE of 2014 Barista Champion for the Republic of Zambia. There are the 4 sensory judges, a head judge (from Italy this year), a technical judge and...another judge with a different title...are there more judges? I have no idea. Like I say, I steer clear of judging.
AND THE WINNERS ARE...Elijiah from Marika's/Munali (3rd) Emmeldah from Blue Moon Cafe (2nd) and Dailas! (also Blue Moon Cafe!) Nice going. Dailas...lost her voice on the day of the finals but she did NOT lose her touch. Can't wait for 2015.