Scenes from Day 1 of the World of Coffee + the WBC Preliminary Round

WBC semifinalists are announced, and the international coffee community gathers in Amsterdam for a busy show.

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Though day one of the World Barista Championship unfolded on Wednesday, the World of Coffee expo in Amsterdam, Netherlands, didn’t begin until Thursday, when thousands upon thousands hailing from more than 25 countries descended on the RAI Convention Center. The show floor was a sea of people from morning until afternoon, as folks moved through the grand booth exhibits of the best coffee-equipment manufacturers in the world, to the Village, where smaller, boutique companies including importers and European roasters sampled coffee and held cuppings for the masses moving through. There are also myriad classes and workshops being held throughout this massive building, as well as formal cuppings hosted by producing countries and importers alike.

A scene of great excitement has been, of course, the World Barista Championship stage, which saw 60 competitors move through the preliminary round over the course of Wednesday and Thursday. As is the new norm in this competition, live scoring kept attendees and competitors alike aware of rankings within minutes after each performance. At the end of the day, the 16 national competitors earning a spot in today’s semifinal round were as follows:

JOHN GORDON, New Zealand
MATHIEU THEIS, Switzerland
ZENN SOON, Singapore
KEITH KOAY ZIZHENG, Malaysia
ATHIP ARCHALERTTRAKOOL, Thailand
COLE TORODE, Canada
JOSHUA TARLO, United Kingdom
JOO YEON, South Korea
MATT WINTON, Sweden
LEX WENNEKER, Netherlands
CRAIG SIMON, Australia
MICHALIS KATSIAVOS, Greece
LILIYA GADELSHINA, Russia
TAKAYUKI ISHITANI, Japan
AGNIESZKA ROJEWSKA, Poland
COLE MCBRIDE, USA

Here are some scenes from the show floor and the World Barista Championship Thursday:

The stadium setting for the 2018 WBC in Amsterdam.
The 2018 World Barista Championship semifinalists!
Polish Barista Champion (and cover woman for the October + November 2017 issue of Barista Magazine) Agnieszka Rojewska is interviewed following a performance that landed her in the top three.
Steve Leighton interviews USA champ Cole McBride following his performance. Cole ranked second at the end of the preliminary round, even with a 5-second over-time penalty.
Champions were put together in teams to compete in the Team Bar Challenge, wherein they had to create a bar concept and serve customers for a shift during the show. The winning team was announced on Thursday: Congratulations Team Steam! Members included the champions of Australia, Nicaragua, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, and Ukraine.
Andrew Gomez, left, of Wilbur Curtis, and 2017 United States Barista Champion Kyle Ramage of Black & White Coffee Roasters were all smiles while brewing coffee at the Curtis booth.
2017 World Barista Champion Dale Harris of the UK (far left) posed for a photo with New Zealand (and former UK) champ John Gordon (center, with beard) and friends.

To read more about the World Barista Championship, including bios for all the competitors, download the Official WBC Program here.

World of Coffee Amsterdam
Once again Barista Magazine produced the official program for the 2018 World Barista Championship. You can check it out right here.

To watch the World Barista Championship live, go here.

To watch previously recorded performances from the preliminary round, go here.

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