LONDON--()--Eleven contenders from around the world will compete in the final of this year’s Caffè Ritazza World Barista Championship, which will take place in one of the great coffee capitals of the world – Vienna - on 19th September.
During the competition, the contenders will prepare four espressos and four cappuccinos, together with a signature drink of their own creation. This all takes place under the watchful eye of a panel of expert judges, all of whom are among the most well respected of the international coffee community. For the first time the competition will be screened live via ustream so it can be watched around the globe, and there will be a live twitter feed where viewers, competitors and friends can post a comment and cheer on their favourites. Also new to the contest this year is a separate prize, sponsored by syrup-maker Monin, which will be awarded to the competitor who produces the best signature drink.
‘The benefits of this competition go far beyond the competition itself,’ says Stuart Coombes, international operations director for Caffè Ritazza. ‘These baristas are a real inspiration to all of our teams across the globe, and help to raise standards at each of our outlets. Caffè Ritazza is all about excellent coffee. This competition is one way of helping to foster that excellence, and highlight the importance of the barista in achieving the highest standards.’
The event is adjudicated to the standards of the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe, which means that the skills of contenders are bench-marked against those of the world’s most successful competitive baristas. Indeed, a number of past contenders for the Caffè Ritazza title have themselves gone on to compete in external competitions, honing their competitive skills alongside developing their careers at SSP, competing in competitions in the UK and Scandinavia.
Every country in which Caffè Ritazza is present is represented this year, and the finalists are:
- Yip Wai Ho (Kenny) from Hong Kong representing the Asia region
- Gregory Dovy from France
- Louise Roessell from Denmark
- Zoltan Gal from Hungary representing the EMEA region
- Ali Torun from Germany
- Ricardo Suarez from Spain
- Naveed Ahmed from Switzerland
- Laura Timpany from UK Air
- Tomas Bruckus from UK Rail
- Andrea Krogdal from Norway
- Kajsa Bysell from Sweden (representing her country for the second time, after coming third in last year’s competition)
The judging panel is:
Stuart Coombes, Caffè Ritazza
Mark Pierre Dietrich, World Barista Championship head judge
Raphael Jeanniot, senior vice president international marketing and head of Caffè Ritazza, SSP
Yoram Lishansky, FoodLab director, SSP
Nora Smahelova, Chapter One Coffee, Berlin
Chris Scott, head of training, international brands, SSP
Paul Meikle Janney, managing director, Coffee Community
Last year’s competition, which was held in London, was won by Ziadabi Nakhoul from Dublin Airport.