Six National Barista Champions vied for the title of 2017 World Barista Champion today in Seoul, Korea.
The U.K.’s Dale Harris claimed first in the end.
Photos by Kenneth R. Olson
Six exceptional baristas representing Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom competed in the final round of the 2017 World Barista Championship (WBC). Four of the six competitors had already made appearances in the finals of previous WBCs, which gave the high-level competition even more tension and uncertainty in the outcome than usual.
Scenes from the Finals Round of the 2017 World Barista Championship.
The morning began with Australia’s Hugh Kelly of ONA Coffee, who reached the finals in his previous attempt at the WBC crown in 2016. He was followed by Japan’s Miki Suzuki of Muryama Coffee. This was Miki’s fourth time in the WBC finals; she’s reached the finals each time she’s made the WBC as Japan’s national champion. The United States’ Kyle Ramage of Black & White Coffee Roasters competed next. This was Kyle’s first time as a national barista champion and his inaugural trip to the WBC finals.
The fourth champion to take the stage today was Hong Kong’s Kapo Chiu from the Cupping Room Coffee Roasters. Kapo is the current and the future barista champion of Hong Kong (he’s already qualified for the 2018 WBC), and this year was his third time reaching the WBC finals. Canada’s Ben Put of Monogram Coffee competed fifth. Ben is a multi-time national barista champion, and 2017 was his third time reaching the finals out of four attempts. Finally, the United Kingdom’s Dale Harris of HasBean Coffee, and first-time national champion, competed in the sixth position. With a unique stage setup (he hosted the judges between two tables to provide service from both sides), a terrific routine, and exceptional coffee, he was named the 2017 World Barista Champion.
2017 World Barista Championship finals ranking:
- Dale Harris – United Kingdom
- Miki Suzuki – Japan
- Kapo Chiu – Hong Kong
- Ben Put – Canada
- Hugh Kelly – Australia
- Kyle Ramage – USA
Please read our statement here about the recent decision by the Specialty Coffee Association regarding the 2018 competitions in Dubai. We will continue to report live from Seoul with a focus on competitors and their progress, so please check here for results and standings. We also turn to the global coffee community for their feelings and thoughts regarding this decision, so please email, leave comments, or find us on social media to share your concerns.