27/6/2014 WBC & WBrC – Rimini 2014! Review by Yiannis Taloumis

Returning from Rimini, after the end of the World of Coffee Events (WBC & WBrC) I am writing a review of all the things that took place during the preparation as well as during the World Coffee Championships.

Enjoying an espresso Baquelito Guatemala at Taf coffee shop and watching Stefanos preparing a brew for a customer, I observe his attention during the brew. He has the same contemplative look that he had in every one of the 160 times that he repeated his brew, during his practice before the competition. He checks the coffee, his smells its aroma, we exchange looks of affirmation about the unique characteristics of the green bean. It took us 7 different roast profiles and 32 batches of this special Gesha coffee that grows in the region Volcan of Panama by the coffee producer Ninety Plus, many discussions with Elias (Taf’s head roaster) for these roast profiles as well as repeating cuppings to end at the unique roast profile that would give the desired result.

We had to transport not only the serving equipment and the coffee beans but also our own water, filters as well as the grinder and the meters necessary to acquire all the appropriate information before and after the brewing. We checked the coffee grind, the pre-grind time, we checked every detail and we achieved finally to “transfer” all the ideal conditions from our lab in Athens to Rimini in Italy, so as to achieve a stable result. In the “training room” that we created at the hotel we were staying in Rimini every afternoon until the finals we were making the necessary adjustments as well as the final tests. And Stefanos managed to succeed. To win the first place for himself and for Taf.

Chris is discussing with the people at the coffee shop about his experience. His excitement is still there, he managed to win the third place in such a difficult championship as the World Barista Championship is. The time he spent at the lab was extremely important and of higher quality compared to anytime before that. We selected specific nano lots with their taste profile as our criteria. The appropriate roast was repeated several times even though time was limited since these coffees are maturing at the end of the harvest time. Therefore we received them about one month before the championship. This fact has created a lot of frustration but our experience as well as our focus on our goal eliminated the anxiety. Besides, the coffees’ taste characteristics are unique!!!

He had two weapons: the high quality of the beverages as well as his concentration in offering the best and his focus on success. And he did it.

Both of them deserve our congratulations!!

The championships’ preparation and our presence in Rimini were a project in which 12 people participated and without them this wonderful “puzzle” of experiences would not exist.

I would like to thank Elias, Taf’s head roaster who focused a lot on delivering with constancy the selected roast profiles.

Stavros who has been the “shade” of Stefanos and Chris and passed the information about maintaining all the parameters that we had set during practice.

The rest of the barista team that stayed back at taf coffee shop and helped during preparation.

And Taf’s people at the central offices that helped during preparation.

I would also like to thank a lot the coffee producers that took care of the high quality of the green beans, Joseph Brodsky from Ninety Plus (Panama), Juan Carlos Estevez (Baquelito Guatemala), Roberto Diaz (Santa Ana Guatemala).

Many thanks to our cooperators Roukiat Delrue and Eduardo Ambrocio from Guatemala for the coffee sourcing.

All the coffees mentioned above are included in Taf’s Direct Relationship Coffees program.

I realize that our “route” started with a cup of coffee and that is how it will end, as always. But the search of fine coffee continues….