All the highlights from The Barista League event in Helsingborg, Sweden!
BY ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos by Carolyn West unless otherwise indicated
The Barista League stormed Helsingborg, Sweden, this past weekend. The event—which is part competition, part the best party you’ve ever been invited to—brought together baristas from across Europe to compete in a series of three coffee challenges meant to test their barista skills but still get the crowd going and the party rocking.
We’re pretty big fans of The Barista League—we’ve covered a number of their events in places like Helsinki, Gothenburg (Sweden), and Oslo (Norway), and followed them along a tour of the United States last summer. We’ve even featured interviews with past winners, and our current issue of Barista Magazine features Barista League founder Steven Moloney—who is an amazing sport and let us throw coffee on him for the cover photo.
One of the reasons we’re really into The Barista League is that they’re committed to providing a stress-free competition for baristas. The rules are lax, and some of the rounds are even kept a secret from competitors so they can’t prep in advance.
Another reason we’re 100 percent Team Barista League is that they evolve and change with every iteration of the event. This year, they wanted to focus on two key principles: sustainability and audience engagement. They’re determined to host a zero-waste competition and have created spaces, like the Brew Bar, for the audience to taste the coffees the competitors are brewing.
Lastly, The Barista League takes a conscious effort to promote inclusivity. Entrance fees are often low and are donated to a coffee charity—at the Helsingborg event, entrance fees and tickets were donated to Grounds for Health, a nonprofit that provides cervical cancer screenings to women at origin. Women make up 70 percent of participants at the events, and in Helsingborg made up the entire judging panel.
The Barista League has a ton in store for 2019, including a few more stops in Europe and a potential foray back to the United States. We’ll keep you updated on any Barista League news, and we hope you enjoy these photos of the event, including snaps of Kostya Strelnykov and Vladyslav Demonenko, the winners of The Barista League: Helsingborg!