Since yesterday, there is a big international gathering taking place in Cologne, Germany: Coffeena, a coffee fair is playing host to the SCAE‘s (Specialty Coffee Association Europe) Wonderful Coffee event. During this event, coffee industry professionals not only talk coffee, drink coffee, buy coffee but also make coffee and compete with coffee. Apart from a conference and several workshops involving espresso, latte art, roasting, barista ergonomics and ‘flair’ (ooh yea, baristas got flair :) ) etc, there are also four world championships taking place: the World Latte Art Championships (WLAC), the World Cuptasting Championships (WCC), the World Coffee in Good Spirit Championships (WCSC) and the World Cezve/Ibrik Championships… Lots of stressful competitors, but also time to let the steam off at the barista parties and social gatherings.
Belgium is represented by some fine coffee professionals: Peter Hernou for WLAC, Bart Vansanden for WCC, Ronny Billemon for WCSC and finally Violeta Leci for Cezve/Ibrik. On top, Manu Demets is master of ceremony for some of the competitions! Today Peter took on the challenge to compete for our country for the third year in a row now. He’s been training harder every year and deservedly placed first in the semifinals… By lucky chance, I just opened up my laptop at the bar to have a quick look at the live stream and he was on! I missed the finals, but just read the good news: we finally have our first World Champion in coffee: huge congrats to Peter as the new World Latte Art Champion! Belgium is slowly catching up in the specialty coffee industry and this is another big and important step. Thank you, Peter!
Tomorrow and Sunday, the other competitions are on; so lets cross our fingers for our fellow colleages. Tomorrow we are remotely following from the bar (here for the live stream), but on Sunday, the OR team travels to Cologne for some personal support! So Bart, if you hear someone whistle: its us :)