Dalla Corte inaugurates the Second Chance Project in Bollate Penitentiary in Milan

Proud to be “the second”

The new laboratory, which will give a second chance to Evolution, Dalla Corte espresso machine classic model, has been inaugurated inside Bollate Penitentiary (Milan-Italy). A project launched together with the cooperative Bee.4 Altre Menti, already involved in finding job opportunities for inmates.

Manual labour jobs increase self-esteem, teach self-discipline, order and patience. This idea has a bigger value if addressed to people living in penitentiary. A job will help them to spend their time by learning new skills and be ready to be part of the society again.

Dalla Corte, leading producer of espresso machines based in Baranzate (Milan), believes in the possibility to give everyone a second chance. For this reason, decided to cooperate with Bee.4 Altre Menti.

“I met Francesco Bernasconi sales manager at Bee.4 Altre Menti, and Second Chance Project executive manager, and when I realized that also our company could have given a contribution, I joined in with enthusiasm,” states Paolo Dalla Corte, CEO of the company together with his sister Elsa. Our restyled machine will have a great human content, not just a secondhand product inspected with professionalism.”

With the Second Chance Project started a working activity including check, spare parts replacement with lead free components, and final test of the espresso machine Evolution. “A machine that, launched ten years ago on the market, has still today great performances and surpasses 90% of the espresso machines in the coffee shops” highlights Paolo Dalla Corte. “In this way, we give the opportunity to many baristas to buy and work with a performing machine. Moreover, we recover a machine, updating it to current regulations, safeguarding the environment.”

Paolo Dalla Corte personally selected the inmates taking part to the project. In the first phase, they will work under the supervision of a professional Dalla Corte team, helping them to restyle our Evolution marked with the logo “Second Chance Project” by Dalla Corte. 

        Download the Italian translation of the article here.  

 

 *Note that this article was initially published by dallacorte.com. 

COLAB: BARCELONA MOST INTERACTIVE YET, WITH LOCAL COMMUNITY AT ITS HEART

CoLab: returns this November 28-30 with a brand-new format set to engage attendees with the speakers and the local community – the most interactive CoLab yet! The main day of CoLab: Barcelona, held on 29 November at Cooccio, will include talks by three voices of our industry who will lead attendees through three hands-on workshops. With a translator on hand, the event will be inclusive to both the local and international community. Two half days of CoLab fringe events will put the local community in the spotlight. 

The three CoLab: Barcelona speakers and their talk titles are: After their morning talks, each speaker will lead an afternoon workshop building on their topic. Attendees can get up close and personal with the speakers whilst they develop new skills in tasting and service with Francis & Ger, or acquire knowledge on life as a producer from Kim Elena. 

CoLab: Barcelona puts the local community at the heart of the event. The event will start with a look at a related industry: Blanxart Chocolate Factory opens its doors for a tour and presentation on the delights of cocoa and chocolate production. At the end of the main day, local baristas and cafe owners Jordi Mestre (Nomad), Elisabet Sereno (True Artisan Cafe), Miguel Lamora (Atman’s Coffee), and Salvador Sans (Cafés El Magnífico) will discuss ‘What’s Unique About Coffee In Spain?’ in an engaging panel, moderated by Stephen Morrissey. The event will close on Nov 30 with a range of activities for CoLab'ers to delve into the local coffee scene through tours, roastery visits and cuppings! 

As part of CoLab’s goal to bring coffee communities together, BGE has decided to invite a translator to the event. “Connecting with the local community is key to the success of CoLab,” explains Guild Manager, Isa Verschraegen. “We have realised that language differences sometimes hold people back from gaining the most out of our events. We’re excited that we’re able to offer translation services for the first time at a BGE event, indicative of our goal to create an inclusive and engaged community.” 

The coffee scene in Barcelona is thriving – the balmy November weather, awesome architecture, and booming coffee vibes all help to make CoLab: Barcelona a fantastic, don’t-miss event.

Tickets are available via the Barista Guild of Europe website, and include access to all of the programmed events, lunch and refreshments on the main day. Prices range from 85 for SCAE members to 95 for non-members. 

Istanbul Coffee Festival: One of the two largest coffee festivals in the world

 

With almost 30,000 visitors,

Istanbul Coffee Festival 

breaks attendance record

 

Held by dsm group under the primary sponsorship of the leading Turkish company Paşabahçe, the third Istanbul Coffee Festival took place at Küçükçiftlik Park from October 6-9, 2016. The festival played host to over 150 coffee brands and broke a new record by attracting almost 30,000 coffee fans. Last year, Istanbul Coffee Festival received the title of Europe’s biggest coffee festival, and this year it became one of the world’s two largest coffee festivals along with London Coffee Festival.

 

Bringing together the leading brands of the third wave coffee movement and the culture based on this very concept under one roof, Istanbul Coffee Festival featured many of Istanbuls leading specialty coffee shops, coffee bean brands, coffeemaker manufacturers, designer products, and treats that go with coffee.  Coffee lovers enjoyed tasting, training, workshops and seminars, at-home coffee brewing methods, concerts, and live art performances. In addition, many coffee experts from Norway, Denmark, Germany, El Salvador, Greece, the UK, Iran, and the US attended Istanbul Coffee Festival to share their knowledge and experience with the festival’s professional guests.

 

One of the world’s two largest coffee festivals in Istanbul

Alper Sesli, the founder and president of dsm group which carried out the festival, made a statement regarding the event. He said this year’s Istanbul Coffee Festival broke a new record by attracting almost 30,000 visitors and that this year more coffee beans were consumed compared to last years amount of over 1,750kg. According to Sesli, 85,000 coffee cups were prepared for Istanbul Coffee Festival and this figure increases to over 120,000 when the cups of the coffee brands showcasing their products at the festival were included. He emphasized that Istanbul Coffee Festival, where three metric tons of daily milk were used, received the title of Europe’s biggest coffee festival last year and that it became one of the world’s two largest coffee festivals this year. He also pointed out that in addition to this year’s attendance record they also brought together 80,000 coffee enthusiasts in the last three years and stated that 1,200 people worked at ICF 2016, the latest link to this huge event.

 

According to Sesli, events like Istanbul Coffee Festival contribute to the economic recovery and this year was no exception. The four-day economic contribution of the festival totaled $2 million. Sesli emphasized that coffee is the worlds second most traded commodity after petrol and today Turkeys share in the European coffee market is 14 percent which indicate that the coffee sector has been growing rapidly in Turkey. In addition to the contributions of coffee chains, third wave specialty coffee also played an important role in this development. Finally Sesli thanked the festivals Communication Solution Partner Türk Telekom, the coffee brands supporting the event, people visiting the festival, and in particular the festival’s main sponsor Paşabahçe.

 

SCAE Turkey winners announced

The Turkish auditions for Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) were also carried out at the festival.  SCAE Turkey Championship was launched under five different categories: The Best Barista, Latte Art, Cezve & İbrik - Turkish coffee pots, Brewing, and Roasting.As a result of an assessment by a panel of experts, Nisan Ağca, Özgür Genç, Koray Erdoğdu, Orkun Usta, and Serkan Sağsöz won in the categories of The Best Barista, Latte Art, Cezve & İbrik - Turkish coffee pots, Brewing, and Roastingrespectively.  SCAE Turkey winners will represent Turkey at the World Championship events.

 

 

www.istanbulcoffeefestival.com
twitter / @istcoffeefest
www.facebook.com/istanbulcoffeefestival 

For more information:
News Studio - 0216  545 01 03

CoLab: Barcelona

After the successful third edition of CoLab in Antwerp earlier this year, the seminar series in 2016 will pay a visit to Barcelona, looking for a warm embrace of the local coffee community and its temperate autumnal weather. Faithful to the event's ethos, Barista Guild of Europe will focus on the discovery of blossoming, friendly, enthusiastic and engaged coffee communities across Europe, and aim to give them a platform to connect with the overall international community. 

Barcelona (Spain) has recently had a boost to their burgeoning coffee scene with the introduction of the first ever Independent Barcelona Coffee Festival. Attracting coffee lovers to the city alongside typically geeky and refined pallets of industry folk this town is having a bit of a coffee renaissance which we're hoping to capture our event. With a handful of specialty roasters within Barcelona and a lengthy list of alternative and quirky cafes – it's exciting to bring the international coffee community to this centre of culture and beautiful aesthetics. 

Head over to the Barista Guild of Europe website for more info and get your tickets here.

Origin Field Trip: Mexico!

Don't miss the chance of a Mexican coffee adventure!

 

From Bean to Cup... come and visit Mexico!

We are delighted to announce an origin field trip to Mexico, visiting farms and coffee productions in the Veracruz and Chiapas regions of Mexico, exclusively for SCAE members! The trip will provide valuable insights into the coffee industry of Mexico and its coffees, ranging from visiting processing plants to coffee mills, whilst learning more about the complexities of the coffee bean.

What: Origin field trip to Mexico
When: 15th - 25th January 2017 (to be confirmed)
Where: Veracruz and Chiapas regions, Mexico
Price: €975 + flight cost from your location to Mexico*
*Please Note: we are still working on the schedule so please do not book any travel until the details have been confirmed!
Deposit: €200 required by no later than 30th November 2016

Come and take in the local culture and everyday life of the origin country, including breath-taking landscapes, exotic wildlife and their rich and diverse history. You will experience coffee like never before!

Please register your interest with Colin Smith, SCAE Trip Organiser at colin.smith@smithscoffee.co.uk
 

Summary schedule (more details to follow)

Day 1, 16.01.2017:
  • Meet for breakfast then set off to visit Veracruz Port to gain valuable insights into the imports and exports of coffee. Lunch at the coffee exporter warehouse to then drive to Coatepec Coffee town.
Day 2, 17.01.2017:
  • Begin the day with breakfast in Coatepec. Visit a farm and a coffee mill in Xalapa, then to Agritech to see where they are developing a Rust resistant Hybrid plant.
Day 3, 18.01.2017:
  • Visit the Tajin. Later, drive to Cordoba stopping for Lunch in the Coffee Town Huatusco, followed by dinner in downtown Cordoba.
Day 4, 19.01.2017:
  • Visit to Descamex decaf plants and Catoex soluble plant. Later on, enjoy a long lunch at our Brewery.
Day 5-7, 20-22.01.2017: 
  • Travel to Chiapas where we will spend the next 2/3 days.
Day 8-10, 23-25.01.2017: 
  • Further details to be confirmed. Please register to receive updates on the trip.  
NOTE: Deposits of €200 per person will be required by 30th November 2017. 
Full & final payment will be due by 16th January 2017.
 
 

This October Istanbul will enjoy a good coffee at Küçükçiftlik Park Istanbul Coffee Festival

Now in its third year, Istanbul Coffee Festival will be held by dsm group from October 6-9, 2016 at Küçükçiftlik Park. The main sponsor of the festival is Paşabahçe. There will be almost 200 coffee brands at the festival, which boasts many events such as acoustic concert performances, workshops, seminars, and an art exhibition. Also while at the festival you will have the chance to enjoy treats, do some taste testing, watch barista performances, and see custom design products.

dsm group, one of the leading creative event agencies in Turkey, is holding Istanbul Coffee Festival at Küçükçiftlik Park from October 6-9, 2016. This festival under the main sponsorship of a leading Turkish brand Paşabahçe will feature everything about coffee. Festival tickets are on sale at Biletix.

Bringing together the leading brands of the third wave coffee movement and the culture based on this very trend, Istanbul Coffee Festival will feature Istanbul’s leading specialty coffee shops, coffee bean brands, coffeemaker manufacturers, designer products, and treats that go good with coffee. In addition to treats and taste testing activities, the festival will also be home to many other interesting events such as interactive workshops, professional training sessions, seminars, acoustic concert performances, SCAE Championship, an art exhibition, and live art performances.

Europe’s biggest coffee festival

Istanbul Coffee Festival, which became Turkey's biggest coffee event in 2015 with 25,500 people visiting it, is also the biggest coffee festival in Europe according to official figures. Following last year's ‘Journey to Coffee’ theme, this year ICF will take you to the city's most central point under the theme 'At the Heart of the City'.

Coffee experts from Norway, Germany, El Salvador, Greece, England, and the U.S. will offer professional training sessions for coffee shops at the festival. The experts will introduce artisan coffee by offering cupping-tasting sessions and give information on what's new in the world of coffee. Also consumers will be able to experience different coffee brewing methods at this four-day festival.

SCAE Championship

The Turkish auditions for World Coffee Events, the only official coffee event organized throughout the world, will be carried out by SCAE Turkey at Istanbul Coffee Festival from October 6-9, 2016. The winners of the contest carried out under five categories—the best barista, latte art, cezve & ibrik Turkish coffee pots, brewing, and roasting—will represent Turkey at the world championships.

Support the development of the sector

“We can describe Istanbul Coffee Festival as a gathering point where the coffee sector meets its consumers. 40,000 cups of coffee were consumed at last year’s Istanbul Coffee Festival held at Haydarpasa Train Station. There were 240 dsm group employees and 1300 participant company employees at the festival, which welcomed 158 brands in total. In addition to 36 live music performances, the festival goers also enjoyed artwork, photos, and sculpture work by 100 artists using illustration and various types of other techniques. Besides, 3200 people received a technical training that offered tips for making quality coffee at home. With a target to welcome 30,000 visitors, we predict that we will have a higher amount of visitors this year. Recently the specialty coffee sector has been enjoying a rapid development with new actors and new concepts. Istanbul Coffee Festival is the number one event that significantly contributes to this development.  Our aim is to introduce and bring together the opportunities, talents, and accomplishments that Istanbul has to offer when it comes to coffee, as well as to become an annual meeting point for this culture influencing many fields from food to design, from music to art, and from sports to fashion,” dsm group Founder and President Alper Sesli said regarding the festival's contribution to the coffee sector.

dsm group, an event agency known for its influential and creative marketing events, has been offering services to corporate companies at home and abroad since 1994 with its sub-companies dsm events, dsm training, dsm nolimits, and dsm mice. It offers direct marketing and field support services to Turkish and multinational companies including Nike, Red Bull, Volkswagen, Metro Properties, Hyundai, Fiat, Borusan Otomotiv, and Coca Cola - CCI 

Now in its third year, Istanbul Coffee Festival is an exemplary project carried out by dsm group to address Turkey's specialty coffee sector. Acı Fest (Hot Fest) and Istanbul Comics and Art Festival will also be carried into effect by dsm group this year and become the firsts of their kind.

More info at www.istanbulcoffeefestival.com. You can follow them at https://www.instagram.com/istanbulcoffeefestival/; twitter / @istcoffeefest/ www.facebook.com/istanbulcoffeefestival

                                     

On being a world champ: coffee chat with Alexandru Niculae, 2016 World Roasting Championship Winner

Find out below how Alex started his career in the coffee industry, what's his preferred brew method, as well as some tips on becoming a world champion! 

How did you get into coffee?

Well, it all started back when I used to own a restaurant with Katy (my girlfriend), almost 4 years ago. One day my girlfriend’s sister came to drink a cappuccino, she had experience in bartending, and of course we did an awful job. Unfortunately we did not know that, this still being a problem in our country, people are used to drinking that bitter and long coffee (they call it espresso). She then told us that this is not a cappuccino, I remember that day so well, she was quite upset, and yet surprised that we did not know how to properly foam the milk. She then showed us how to do it properly and we were amazed: shinny, no bubbles, elastic. That key-moment changed everything. I knew I had to learn everything about coffee. We went to SCAE Romania, had a training, and in that period of time some of the guys were preparing for competitions, I had my first espresso with a geisha back then. Oh! Forgot to tell you, I didn’t even drink coffee until the moment I tasted speciality coffee. It was really good to feel the acidity and a little bit of sweetness. In a summer holiday we went into Miami, USA, where one of Katy’s sister lives. Being interested to see how speciality coffee was in America, we searched the internet and found out a beautiful roastery. I remember like it was yesterday. The baristas were so friendly. There I had my first V60 with a good roast profile. AMAZING!!! I quite fell in love with coffee, but most important I knew that I had a lot to learn.

How and why does one make the transition from a brewing championship to a roasting one?
Well, if you want to be more complex, to understand every aspect of coffee, especially in the brewers cup championship, where it is all about having an amazing roasting profile that highlights all of the hard work and time the farmers put in, you need to compete in roasting. Technique is critical of course, but so is the roasting! For a brewers competition you need to adjust the profile in the best possible way, according to your style of brewing. The water will be different and many other parameters. So the best way is to custom-make the profile of the coffee. It will take time to learn how to roast, but when you do it will be really glad you did it. The roasting championship is one of the most complex. It takes 4 intense days, where you have to put all of your knowledge into it. Green grading, blending, sample roasting, flavour profiling the coffees. Really challenging. Initially I did not want to compete in roasting. I was very very interested in brewing, by the way we still have a spark:). At that time I was working at a roastery in Bucharest, Romania. But I did go for it, when my friend, Paul, insisted. He had a great idea.

 

How did you train for the competition?

For this type of competition training is quite hard. You do not know which coffees will be given to you, what roaster you will be roasting on, what sample roaster. For me this is just amazing. You have only your skills to rely on. You need to know how to roast and have to be able to push yourself in order to deliver in the fastest way possible the best quality coffee. You have to know every aspects about the green coffee. The defects that may change your flavour. How to measure the humidity, density.  You need to be able to create a blend as fast as possible. As you are not able to remove any coffee from the stage area.

I roasted coffee for my girlfriend, she took the second place at the World Cezve Ibrik Championship in 2015 Athens, 4th place in Dubai 2016, and Paul Cristian Ungureanu, who took the 3rd place in World Coffee in Good Spirits 2015. So I had a lot of experience in profiling coffees. I worked with different roasters, but I did not have any sponsors. Things were much harder for me. I did everything by myself. I trained a lot for the green grading, I asked everybody to give me samples of green coffee. The Cropster software helped me a lot at the championship. Being able to see and to predict what will happen is amazing. I recommend it to everyone.

 

Favourite origin...

Oh! I do love Ethiopian coffees. Really complex and beautiful! All the different profiles that you can achieve resulting in an amazing flavor bouquet. I just love them! Some fruity, some floral, just awesome. But in general it's hard to like just one origin, or just coffee from one farm. Each coffee is totally different and this gives me the chance to explore so many profiles in the cup. I appreciate farmers who have been pushing coffee processing to the next level. Just recently I drank a really great natural processed coffee from a student that I had in Barcelona. It was really well roasted. I felt so happy that he did an awesome job.

 

Preferred brew method...
I like so many methods, it’s hard to give you just one. Depending on my mood, I would use different brewers, either immersion, drip or espresso, but the most important part is for the coffee to be roasted good.
I guess I tried 90% of the brewing methods. I have a huge collection of brewers, kettles in my living room. Each of the devices produces a different extraction, some good and some need improvement. I do like the Cone shaped brewers, you can achieve wonderful brews, filled with flavor, but for a beginner it's more difficult to have consistency with them. But once you develop your technique it will be one of your best friends. Flat bottom brewers are awesome as well, they give you a different profile from and they are also more forgiving. It's easier for people at home to deliver a more consistent brew. It's hard to decide on one method, you have to choose when choosing the filtration medium between clarity or body.

 

If you wouldn't be in coffee, you would...

I graduated in economics. I would have never thought that I will work in this industry. Being raised just by my mother, who was and still is the biggest inspiration for me, sacrificing so much for me, I most probably would have followed her steps working in the advertising industry. My mom was my hero. Right now she owns an advertising company, I am also involved, but not so much. I am also a licensed fitness trainer. I always loved sports. So it is really hard to tell you exactly the answer. But fortunately I am being part of this lovely coffee world.

 

5 tips on becoming a world champion...

  1. It was my dream to become world champion, I used to dream of myself becoming one, so guys, dreams come true, you just need to keep dreaming and never stop believing in yourself, the more you dream the better chances for you to realize your goal.
  2. Being open minded is one of the most important aspects in life, not only in competitions. Don’t be afraid to try things that others would consider not good. Try everything, you just might be surprised of what will happen.
  3. Coffee is my passion, I love it. This is also changes everything. If you love what you do, you don’t even have to work anymore!
  4. Dedicate yourself into training a lot, in any competition. Working hard is part of the job. If it was easy everybody would have done it, but you need to want it really bad. Never be afraid of failure, it will make you better.
  5. Dream on! Dream on! Dream on till your dreams come true! like the Aerosmith song:)

 

 

You can read this article in Italian, French, Spanish, German, Chinese, South Korean and Russian below:

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Barista Connect: Women in Coffee

Régine Léonie Guion-Firmin, SCAE AST, reports from the recent Barista Connect event in London and leaves us with three commandments to follow after this inspiring event!

 

Day 1 - Thou should compete! 

Women are lacking in the coffee competition circuit. Apart from women who compete, it seems as if no one has previously considered this phenomenon. Well, thanks to Sonja Zweidick and all her guests, we had a 3-day think-tank on the subject! However, this subject opened a Pandora’s Box about the representation of women in the coffee world, which we wrongly thought was less gender specific. Well that doesn’t seem to be the case! 

The first speaker, Anne Lunnel, Swedish Barista and Brewers Cup Champion, noticed that women lack Training support from their peers, connections and sponsorship. As a result, they very often end up competing with no support whatsoever, which can extremely expensive and mentally draining. Anne ran a survey in order to understand what motivates men and women to enrol in a competition despite these large obstacles, and the results tell us a great deal about our behaviour. Men like winning and they hate losing. Women like sharing their passion and knowledge on stage, and they hate stress. Anne then asked her candidates who were their role models. They were all males, apart from one woman who had a women as role model. It looks like women have trouble finding female role models. 

Maybe it is time for us to open our eyes and see the women sitting next to us at Barista Connect as role models - that would be a good start. We women have a lot to share and a lot to show. Unfortunately we get blinded by the high profiles of the likes of Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood or James Hoffman and it's easy to overlook Charlotte Malaval, or Anne Lunnell, or Sonja Zweidick’s knowledge, presence and their out-of-the-box thinking.

The next speaker was Cerianne Bury, Q Grader and Head of Quality at Trabocca in Amsterdam. She made the whole audience do a short voice workshop, as in competition it is very important to be understood by the judges. She ran a survey called Women in Competition, asking who helped them on competition day, and the composition on their team. She talked about her own competition experience and how the competition network improved her career development. She also gave us three interesting questions to think about during the weekend to be answered by Sunday.

  •  Why would women not enter competitions?
  • What is an ideal competition team consisting of?
  • Should strategy differ for men and women competing? 

You will discover the answers and thoughts of the audience later in this article.

 After Questions and Answers - and a nice coffee break - three workshops took place: 

  1. Firstly, a Brewing workshop with Mikaela Wallgreen, World Brewers Cup 2016 #2 Champion, where, using her competition coffee, we learned her Kalita brewing technique. 
  2. The next workshop, a Roasting workshop with Jess Godwin, office manager at Ikawa, where she had us roasting our own beans to show us how easy it is to use Ikawa sample roasters. 
  3.  The last workshop was with Annemarie Tiemes, SCAE’s education field manager, who introduced us to the secular art of the Ibrik, and yes, you can make delightful coffee with an Ibrik. 

Later we were all invited to Prufrock for networking, bubbly and nice nibbles.

 

Day 2 – Thou should be educated

 

We started the day with the beginning of the Coffee Journey - origin - with Marta Dalton, co-founder of Coffee Bird, the other co-founder being her mother, a 6th generation Coffee Farmer in Guatemala. Marta talked about the hardship of being a woman entrepreneur in Guatemala, in a very male-dominated community; the great amount of disrespect encountered from men as they do not take women seriously, but Marta also talked about how these women are viewed by other women as role models, as heroes and as an inspiration.

 Before coming to the event, Marta ran a survey amongst women farmers in Guatemala and asked question such as: 

What strength do you think being a woman plays in coffee farming?

“Today, coffee farming is an art. Women are more assertive, creative, perceptive and persistent. These strengths are very important to coffee” 

What role does the barista play in the coffee industry?

“Communicate and transmit the dedication and passion of each person in the supply chain that grew the coffee they are serving, to brew a delicious cup of coffee - and honour our work. “ 

Marta also talked about the huge problem that farmers encounter due to miscommunication and mismanagement from buyers, quite ignorant about how the problems you may encounter, such as the weather, insect pests, fungus outbreak – in conclusion, the importance of supporting farmers in communicating their day-to-day struggles to the wider world. 

Talor Browne, the first female roaster in Norway, Tim Weldenboe’s former head roaster, Q grader and co-founder and owner of Fryd and Talor&Jørgen, was our next speaker. Talor talked about the lack of communication between roasters and how frustrating it can become when you want to purchase a roaster, as every roaster has its own language. The only common language you hear is from the roaster builders - “Buy my roaster - they are better than any other roaster!”. In order to create a common language between roasters, and to help her choose a roaster that would suit her, Talor decided to roast 24 different profiles of the same coffee on four different roasters. In doing so, she created this objective data, useful to any and all roasters who need to know the pro and cons between different roasters - and she found the roaster that suited her best. We tasted 4 of the coffee profiles, one from each roaster, and voted which one were our favorites, but frankly they were all quite delicious. 

Unfortunately, Ida Steen had some health issues, therefore she couldn’t be with us at Barista Connect. In order to talk about the new flavor wheel, Anne Nylander from SCAA did a great job, showing us how the new flavor wheel was conceived. Then, Anette Moldvaer, co-owner of Square Mile, green buyer, roaster, Q grader and author of the book ‘Coffee Obsession’, excited our palate by making us cup defects, using Flavor Active capsules dissolved in water. Then she submitted us to a threshold test, where you to identify the flavor and the concentration of that flavor. After a delicious lunch, Freda Yuan, Q Grader Calibrator, talked about how to prepare for the Q grading exam; the questions you should expect, the test you will do, the training you have to follow, the knowledge you will need. Then she concluded with a wise message: 

 ‘Never stop tasting!!! Taste consciously, be present and be true to yourself’. 

Diana Johnston Ledezma, Head Trainer from Taylor St Barista, who will be competing in every coffee competition, ran the next workshop. She organized a cupping, same green beans - different profiles, and we had to grade the coffee. Some were really delicious! Last talk of the day at Square Mile was a panel of women who went beyond being a barista, Lina Nail VP of Bunn, Estelle Bright, after sale coordinator at La Marzocco UK, Mikaela Wallgreen, Barista and HR - Coordinator at Coffee Collective and Sonja Björk Grant, Founder of Kaffibrugghùsiđ. 

Sonja talked about her journey from being a carpenter, to starting a coffee business mid-90’s, to having created a coffee school in Reykjavik. Mikaella talked about her own journey from being a barista and going on to create the HR department at Coffee Collective. Estelle started from being a barista in a small town in Wales, reaching top 2 in the UK Barista championships, twice running. She now has over 30 technicians under her command at La Marzocco UK. Lina Nail, as the VP of Bunn in the Middle East and Asia, has made men accept her in their circles by creating an understanding of  local culture  and custom. Finally, a talk at Prufrock by Laura Bruneau, who works in digital marketing, who gave us advice on how to improve our digital image. After these inspiring and empowering sessions, we were ready for an evening of delicious lasagna and espresso martinis at Prufrock.

 

Day 3 – Thou should connect 

Our final morning was at Prufrock. We had a delicious breakfast with some champions behind the bar, Agnieszka Rojewska, Polish Latte Art Champion, and Mikaela Walgreen, WBrC Champion. A nice start to the day! 

Sonja Björk Grant had a talk about the cluncky beginning of the WBC, how it started, how it was then, what it has become now - and still no women Champions! 

Well, now it is the moment to answer Cerianne’s questions: 

Why would women not enter competitions?

First stress, money, time-consuming training, children…. 

What does an ideal competition team consist of?

An unbiased coach, not someone emotionally attached - no boyfriends! The roaster selected just for the choice of bean. Depending on the competition, perhaps 1 or 2 helpers/cleaners who know you very well, know your competition routine better that you do, and most importantly, being there on the day of the competition, with the coach. 

Should competition strategy differ between men and women?

As Sonja explained to us, the competitions have been created in order to have men and women competing together. The strategy should not be about your gender but about how you to present your routine to the judges. Therefore the strategy should be personal.

 

 After an emotional thank-you and goodbye from Sonja Zweidick, we all exchanged contacts, as we must all try to see each other soon to continually learn, improve ourselves - and win! 

 

 

You can read this article in Italian, French, Spanish, German, Chinese, South Korean and Russian below:

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