Baristas Around the World

Announcement to the barista powers that be: No more events allowed between June 2 and June 5 ”got it?

Not only is the World Barista Championship kicking off in Bogota, Colombia, on June 2 ”

and not only is the New World Latte Art Championship rearing up at Coffee Fest San Diego starting June 3 ”

but the Battle of the Baristas will commence in Penang, Malaysia, on June 4!

So cool it, OK?? We can’t handle any more barista awesomeness in the space of just a few days!

Assuming you have chosen which of these events your going to attend (or attend in your mind), here are some deets on each of them:


We have some inside info on the WBC because we here at Barista Magazine once again created the official WBC event program. We can tell you this: the Colombian Coffee Federation has gone all out to make sure this is the very best WBC ever to take place. The event space is outstanding, with a barista lounge for competitors to chill in backstage, a real press room, which Barista Mag Publisher Ken Olson will be using to blog about and cover the WBC throughout the event, and of course, amazing parties and a kick ass roster of National Barista Champions.

Even if you’re not going to be in Bogota to watch the WBC go down live and in person, tune in to the WBC’s Official Website, where you watch all the competitors, and also, go to Barista Magazine‘s website next week to download a pdf of the World Barista Championship program, in which you can read profiles of every competitor and learn all about the competition.

Cover of the Official WBC Event Program, which will be available for free in Bogota, and also available for download from Barista Mag’s website next week.

Ken leaves Portland on Sunday to fly to Bogota for 9 days of WBC related adventures, all of which he will report on here at Pasteboard and also in the August/September issue of Barista Magazine. His first mission: to join the National Barista Champs on a 2-day trip to the growing region of Quindio, where they will visit farms, learn from agronomists and also take the Juan Valdez Theme Park (yes, it really exists) by storm.

One of the friendly employees at the Juan Valdez Parque del Cafe in Quindio, Colombia.

Never before have the National Champs had an opportunity to bond like this away from the WBC competition stage. It’s all thanks to the FNC. After they return to Bogota, Ken will station himself at the competition area for all WBC events. So stay tuned! Personally, I just can’t wait to see who we’re going to be featuring on the cover of the August/September issue of Barista Magazine!

It’s a Barista Magazine tradition that we feature the winner of the World Barista Championship on the cover of the magazine following the competition, complete with a feature article about the new WBC champ. Who will win this year??


While Ken is on WBC duty in Colombia, I will fly to San Diego, Calif., to attend and represent Barista Magazine at Coffee Fest San Diego, June 3-5 (come visit me at booth #233!!). One of the most exciting things about Coffee Fest these days is the exciting format of the New World Latte Art Championship, which will take place Friday and Saturday mornings at the Convention Center before the show floor opens. 9-11:35 a.m. on Friday, 10-11:45 a.m. on Saturday.

The crowd at the New World Latte Art Championship held at Coffee Fest Chicago last February.

The competition will pit 48 baristas against each other in a head-to-head latte art battle. The winner will take a giant check for a giant amount of money home: $2500 to be exact!

You can download the Bracket here to see who’s competing.

As usual, there will be heavy representation from Japan, as well as veteran competitors Christopher (Nicely) Alameda, Daniel Demers, Anna Gutierrez, and Gordon Bellaver, among others. Your judges are, as usual, Matt Milletto of the American Barista & Coffee School, former 3-time latte art champ Chrios Deferio, and yours truly, Sarah Allen of Barista Mag.


I hadn’t heard about this one either until recently. Here’s what it’s all about:

The Battle of Baristas Championship (BOBC) is the current premier barista competition in Northern Malaysia. This 1-day annual event is held in conjunction with Malaysia Association of Hotel (MAH) and Chef Association Malaysia to promote and improve the profession of barista. Members of the press and media are welcome to this FREE public event. Lighthouse Coffee is proud to organise this exciting barista championship event as part of their continuing educational effort to promote specialty coffee and Penang tourism. Raising Malaysia’s barista standard is crucial in sustaining the growth of domestic coffee culture and improving tourism opportunities. At retail, one cannot add quality to a cup of coffee but only take quality away. Making a good and consistent cup of coffee requires hard work, practice and skills. The Battle of Baristas Championship will be judge by a combination of local and international coffee experts, including 2008 & 2010 Malaysia Barista Champion. Winning prices will be presented to the finalists in recognition of their hard work.

Battle of Baristas in Malaysia looks neat! We can’t wait to hear more about how it all goes down!


And that’s a wrap for now… stay tuned for more details about all these events…. it’s gonna be a busy week next week!



About Sarah 932 Articles
Sarah Allen (she/her) is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.



    The Battles of Barista Championship 2011 (BOBC) was successfully held at Straits Quay, Penang on 4th June, 2011. 9 baristas competed eagerly, braving mid-day heat and a freak storm (that caused an hour long interruption) to out-perform each other in their attempt to capture the BOBC 2011 title.

    In the end, Evon Tan of Cafe Departure Lounge emerged as the barista champion, while also swooping the Best Espresso award. Tan Sze Jiun of Joseph’s Kitchen grabbed both the 1st Runner-up and Best Signature Drink awards. The 2nd Runner-up award went to Bruce Khong of Cafe Departure Lounge, to wrap up an exciting and rewarding day for the espresso bar based in Kuala Lumpur!

    For more details, contact cw.loo[a]

  2. I’m really excited about the Coffee Fest in San Diego. It should be a good time. Also, I was wondering if Julius Meinl coffee will be there this year. I tried their coffee in Chicago -which I believe is the only place they’re selling it in the US- and was really impressed. Does anyone know whether they will open up new stores in the US?

    Here is a short video about them I found while browsing:

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