Friday Competition Round Up

Last year's WBC Champion Alejandro Mendez holds his trophy in Bogota, Colombia. Competitors around the globe are working this weekend to be the next barista to claim the WBC's top honors.

The Big Central Regional Barista Competition and US Brewers Cup is underway in Chicago today. The event is a combination of the North Central and South Central Regional Barista Competitions. Each region has its own competitors and will  have separate finalists and winners, but they’re both held together in a single event. And judging from reports on the ground, the location is pretty cool.

You can watch the second day (and Sunday’s finals) on this video stream. Or go to

But there’s a whole world of coffee and that means there’s a whole world of barista competitions too! In fact the barista champion of Poland has just been named and it’s  Katarzyna Zyzalo! She’s got her ticket punched to the 2012 World Barista Championship in Vienna, Austria in June. Congats, Katarzyna!

Also this weekend, South Africa will be crowning its barista champion, and our correspondent on the ground there, Ishan Natalie tells us they’ve already got their six finalists lined up for the championship round tomorrow (Saturday). The six finalists are  Mikhael Bou Rjeily, Travis Scott (reigning champ), Dirk Maritz, Bilbo Steyn, Kyle Fraser, and Wayne Oberholzer. Good luck to all of them, and we’ll be seeing at least one of them in Vienna. You can follow Ishan at the championship via his Twitter feed @ishan_natalie.

Know of any other national barista competitions or regionals? Let us know! We’re always looking for more photos and feeds from around the world as we build toward Vienna. Shoot us an email at or Tweet us @baristamagazine!

About Ken 262 Articles
Kenneth R. Olson (he/him) is co-founder and publisher of Barista Magazine the worldwide trade magazine for the professional coffee community. He has written extensively about specialty coffee, traveled near and far for stories, activities, and fun, and been invited to present on topics important to coffee culture. He is also an avid fan of the Portland Trail Blazers, the Washington Huskies, and public libraries.