This weekend, The Barista League finishes out a strong year of friendly competition by stopping in Asia for the first time ever.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of The Barista League
From Helsingborg, Sweden, to Zagreb, Croatia, and Los Angeles, the international barista competition series The Barista League has had a packed year of traveling and throwing down with some of the best baristas in the world. The gang will wind down 2019 in Seoul, South Korea, on Saturday, November 9, with a stellar set of competitors and a star-studded team of judges.
Hosted by Bean Brothers, this stop is not only The Barista League’s first time in Asia, it’s also a “coffee vacation” for the champions from the 2019 editions of the League in Sweden, Croatia, and America. They’ve been with the crew touring Seoul this week, but they’ll also be teaming up with local baristas from the city to compete in The Barista League’s usual festivities.
The competition structure mirrors The Barista League’s previous editions; in the first round of three, competitors have 10 minutes to make four espresso-based drinks for the judges. For the second round, they’ll have to guess five different flavored infusions from the Coffee Tasters Wheel, and for the final “Mystery Round,” competitors will have to mix a drink based off of unknown ingredients.
The judges are a strong team of coffee “celebrities” themselves. Renowned coffee producers Aida Batlle of El Salvador and Hacienda La Esmeralda’s Rachel Peterson are making their way to Seoul after their successful Game Changers tour in Australia last month. Joining them will be Bean Brothers’ own Sunmin Kim; Sunmin currently serves as their head roaster, and has also been the official roaster for both the Korean AeroPress Championship and the Korean Cup Tasters Championship.
The Korea stop marks the fourth country this year The Barista League has visited, and it’s only growing from here. Come 2020, they hope to visit five continents in one year! Tickets to attend the Seoul event are still available here for $5. See you there!