Best Barista 2018
Hello again! Here we are with more news about everything that happened in one of the most intense weeks for our beloved sector. Within the framework of the Alimentaria 2018 fair, which this year was joined with Hostelco 2018, becoming a mega fair that now has nothing to envy the Mobile World Congress. Inside Pavilion 7, where many stands and exhibitors dedicated to spreading the coffee culture, there was a spectacular stage set up by the friends of Fórum del Café, with entertainers, a giant screen, cameras on all sides and a frenzy that was the sensation of the fair on Wednesday.
A championship with the best flavor
The contest organized this time by the Forum consisted of really demanding tests that had to be carried out in 17 minutes by the participants, which this year were 6. The challenge -supervised very closely by a team of judges specially summoned- was to prepare two perfect espressos, two art cappuccino, plus a specialty drink with coffee in its composition, which could also contain or not alcohol. Everything was analyzed in detail and punctuated: the design, the creativity, the presentation, the originality, the exhibition and, of course, the technique.
The winner of the contest would be rewarded with a spectacular trip to Vietnam, to visit one of the origin coffee producers, plus a specialized office coffee machine, just like the ones used during the tests.
Composed mainly by David Tomás and Diego López, who had to try each and every one of the participants’ creations, and the very difficult task of deciding who would win, since the level was very high.
Well, let’s go with a summary of these champions that left more than one person open-mouthed.
1.- The first to participate was Jose Vicente, also the first finalist of 2018, he appeared very elegant and representing the Valencian Community. Jose surprised the jury with a very high level in the technique of espresso, two beautiful art latte (we are talking about someone who overflows passion for coffee through all its pores and has a lot of practice). For the moment of the specialty drink, Jose chose an Italicus Rosolio (bergamot liqueur) and left everyone stunned with a distillate and a reduction of seasonal strawberries + an espresso. The result was a coffee drink with bubbles, remembering a cava. Simply spectacular.
2.- Following was the only girl in this group: Ivette Vera, a former student, and friend of mine, who arrived very determined and charming representing the Canary Islands. Ivette is specialized in origin Colombia and fell in love with his presentation explaining details about this coffee land that we love. After her espressos, she delighted us with a swan and a tulip of latte art. And finally for the specialty drink, Pedro Ximénez + chocolate + lemon + touch of allspice + the soul of the drink: an espresso. Chosen technique: aeration. Speechless.
3.- The third participant was Adrián Rodriguez, another champion who arrived representing Castilla y León. After some perfect espressos and latte art, Adrían left us all open-mouthed transforming a coffee into a super-accomplished beverage with the look of a dark beer, presented in its tin and everything! To reinvent his lifelong Irish coffee, Adrian used passion fruit and added nitrogen to achieve a creamy fall and a real beer look. Awesome.
4.- Time to meet the fourth participant: Javier Vazquez, who presented himself in the best Hipster style, representing Galicia. After 4 correct espresso and latte art, Javier gave us a specialty drink – this time without alcohol – hard to forget: for which he prepared a homemade honey made from panela and mixed it with a pineapple foam and, of course, an espresso . Highlight the presentation, which stole the heart of more than one returning to childhood, with two toy coffee trucks with their petit bags of coffee, wonderful, ten points.
5.- Fifth participant: Rayco Paz, representing the Madrid community. Who dazzled with his exposition, alluding to something as original in our world as the relationship with mathematics: “… the magic of coffee begins with a flower of 5 petals”, he seduced us. Of course the coffees: excellent. And for the specialty drink he quickly set up a mini show cooking chopping strawberries, cinnamon and cherries to obtain a broth that he would add moments later to the drink (which he did very skillfully with a kitchen syringe). With the result of this jam + Grand Marnier + a hot espresso, Rayco made a drink to achieve ecstasy.
6.- Finally we reach the sixth and last participant: Marcos Gonzales, runner-up of Galicia. Very smiling and confident he made his presentation divinely and his coffees were no less. For your specialty drink, he used the Sifon, excellent strategy since this is one of the most seductive and showy coffee makers ever, and therefore it is ideal for presentations or small coffee shows. The espresso of the preparation was accurately combined with water, panela sugar, papaya, mango and cinnamon, elements with which Marcos elaborated an infusion, putting these elements to macerate. Sublime.
Scarce half an hour had the jury panel to take what must have been their most difficult decision of the year. After the deliberation, the participant announced as the winner was the last one: Marcos Gonzales. Jose Vicente remaining in second place. Really deserved prizes and very, very difficult to choose a winner, all were truly masterful. Congratulations, guys! Continue practicing for the next edition.
Thank you all.
In love with coffee and service