Barista Camp Europe Returns for 2015
This week for three full days, baristas and coffee professionals from across Europe and around the world will gather on the Italian Adriatic coast in Riccione for the second installment of European Barista Camp.
The camp runs from the 23-26 of September.
Last year, the Barista Guild of Europe (BGE) held its first-ever camp in Greece, just outside of Athens, at Eden Beach Resort. It was a lovely setting (of course, it was Greece on the beach!), but the attendees and the amazing organizers made the camp exceptional.
As James Hoffmann, one of the founding members of the BGE Working Group who helped get the camp off the ground, said, he hoped that it would lead to 100,000 people enjoying better coffee in Europe. His math: 100 attendees serving 1,000 customers at the home cafés. This year, it should be more like 200,000 people enjoying better coffee as the number of attendees has doubled.
Additionally, in the first year, the BGE offered three different tracks of courses. This year to help keep up with demand, and to make sure there are enough opportunities for learning and education at all levels of experience, the BGE is offering five tracks. This is what the BGE says:
We’ve gone a little bigger this year! Besides group lectures and social activities, Barista Camp 2015 will offer no less than 5 educational tracks! Each track can hold a variety of attendees, so make sure you get in early to secure your spot! Click on each track for a full schedule of events including speakers and social activities.
Raphael ” Barista Foundation and Sensory Foundation
Michelangelo ” Green Foundation and Sensory Foundation
Leonardo ” Barista Intermediate
Donatello ” Brewing Intermediate
Splinter ” Sensory Intermediate
Beyond the seriousness of the educational tracks, though, the BGE Camp is also a lot of fun with some goofy competitions throughout the event like blindfolded latte art, bad beer cupping and traditional(ish?) dancing.
I had the opportunity to attend BGE Camp last year (you can read my Field Report on it, which ran in the December + January 2015 issue, here), and I was very impressed by what I saw. It was a fantastic opportunity not just for baristas and coffee pros from across the continent to improve their skills (and earn certifications), but also a very obviously successful attempt to build an international coffee community in Europe.
It was many attendees first time at any sort of coffee event, and not only did they get to meet new folks face-to-face, they also got to be together without the pressure of competition. Again, I’m reminded of something James said, in competition, there’s only one winner, and those who don’t win, often leave feeling disappointed. With camp, there is no single winner. Instead everyone’s enjoying an chance, in the words of the now-defunct Nordic Barista Cup, to be together, act together, and learn together. Ultimately the winners of European Barista Camp, though, are not just the attendees, but all those people across the continent who get to enjoy better coffee.