The Barista League, a competition filled with crazy antics and surprises, announces its next event in Gothenburg, Sweden.
BY ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
The Barista League has announced its next event in Gothenburg, Sweden, in March. The Barista League, which we’ve covered on this website before, is basically what you’d expect a barista competition to be if there were fewer rules, and more beer. Competitors form teams of four and engage in three coffee-fueled events: a sensory test of skill, an espresso drill, and a ‘mystery’ competition that participants won’t find out about until they have to complete it.
The Barista League, which started as a loose and fun way for baristas in Europe to get together and engage in low-stakes competition (as opposed to the national and international coffee competitions), has become wildly popular throughout Europe and attracts a variety of baristas and coffee professionals. “Already one of the biggest competitions in Northern Europe, The Barista League is attracting a diverse crowd of competitors and attendees, including 75% female competitors in the most recent competition,” according to a press release about the upcoming event. These numbers are impressive considering females are generally underrepresented in most coffee competitions.
The competition will also include a panel produced by Tamper Tantrum focusing on coffee certifications, which is a topic usually misunderstood by most coffee professionals. “In the context of baristas, this event will offer the unique opportunity to ask some difficult questions: Why do we talk about certified and specialty coffees as being mutually exclusive? Can we back up any of our claims that we’re producing more sustainable solutions for our producers, or are we just parroting what we’ve been told?” Hosted by Stephen Leighton, the panel will take place the day after competition, or “in the midst of our collective hangover,” and baristas and coffee professionals will be encouraged to ask tough questions and get past the “niceties” that touchy subjects are often met with.
Although the event is meant to be fun and light-hearted, the prizes at stake are big. The winning team will receive an all-inclusive trip to Budapest, Hungary, for World of Coffee 2017 in June. Lise Romo, a former Norwegian barista champion, and Rubens Gardelli, the four-time Italian roasting champion, will be the judges of the competition. And if you don’t win, the competition promises “beer, tunes, games, and a bunch of surprises for attendees.”
The Barista League hopes to inspire baristas and coffee pros to engage in a way that is fun and good spirited. According to their website, The Barista League “believe[s] in creating events and competitions for coffee professionals that break down barriers to participation and enable real connections within our industry.” Starting in 2015, founder Steven Moloney has hosted events throughout Europe, and has plans to host more events in Copenhagen and Berlin later this year.
Registration is still open if you want to enter your team of baristas into what promises to be one of the most fun and creative barista competitions ever imagined! Click here to register, and find out more information about the Barista League at thebaristaleague.com.