Seed to Cup Barista Origin Adventure

23 Sep 2009

Introducing the Seed to Cup Barista Challenge

The Challenge:
Sustainable Harvest is proud to present the Seed to Cup Barista Challenge.
For most international barista championships, competitors spend months in preparation, studying the origins of their coffee and fine-tuning every detail of their presentations to create a flawless specialty drink. A single step could cost them a trophy, or define their career.

But how well do they know coffee from the ground up? We’re about to find out. Two teams of international champion baristas will be sent to remote coffee
farms in the northern mountains of Nicaragua. In four days—with no
advance training, interpreters, or outside contact—these baristas will pick, mill, dry, and roast their own lot of specialty coffee. The Seed to Cup Barista Challenge will take place from Sept 26-30 in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, in the week preceding Sustainable Harvest’s annual Let’s Talk coffee event.  On the final day of the challenge, the baristas will present their coffee to an international panel of judges who will determine which team has created the highest quality single-origin coffee.

The entire competition will be filmed, documenting every step the baristas take in the shoes of their supply chain counterparts. While the winner will be judged on the quality of their final product, viewers will see the drama behind the scenes, watching each challenge the competitors face as they create their own coffee—from seed to cup.

The Schedule:
Sept 26: Baristas head to the fields to pick and depulp cherries
Sept 27: Baristas lay out their coffees to dry
Sept 28: Baristas finish the drying process, sort and grade their coffee, and mill the coffee parchment
Sept 29: Baristas roast and cup their coffee, determining the best blend for their entry in the competition
Sept 30: Baristas discuss their processing and drying techniques with experts and learn how the cup is affected
Oct 2: The final tasting competition will occur at the Let’s Talk Coffee event, judged by a panel of expert coffee tasters after footage from the week’s filming is shown

The Contenders:
Attila Molnar, 2009 Hungary Champion
Yara Castanho, 2009 Brazil Champion
Ever Bernal, 2009 Colombia Champion
Phuong Tran, 2005 US Champion
Fabrizio Sencion, 2009 Mexico Champion
Auren Cachon, 2009 Costa Rica Champion
Luis López, 2008 Nicaragua Champion
Mike Yung, 2008 Canada Champion
Sayda Araceli Granados, Nicaraguan barista
Yadira Talavera, Nicaraguan barista
Michael Phillips, 2009 US Champion (Judge)

Stay tuned for challenge updates, competitor profiles, and more!

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