So tomorrow sees the beginning of the first European Team Coffee Challenge in Dublin. The Irish team, myself included, spent a day out in Bewleys HQ recently to practice for the competition. We dabbled in blind latte art and received some advanced cupping advice from Bewley’s master roaster Paul O’Toole. The other members of the Irish team are current Irish Barista Champion Karl Purdy, current 3rd place Irish Barista Champion Ruslan Mocharskyy and Barista trainer Julia Mc Fadden of Fallon & Byrne. You can find the whole schedule of events on the Irish SCAE website. One particularly interesting thing is that admittance to the various courses is all free, something I have not seen before at coffee events.
I hope to update you all about the competition as it progresses, and will try avoid covering the same stuff as Jim and Steve Leighton. I’m really looking forward to meeting a whole new bunch of coffee persona and catching up with old acquaintances. I’m a little nervous about the competition, not because my barista skills and general coffee knowledge will be put on test, but more because each time is required to do a 5 minute routine as a display of team spirit. Now its quite a while since I have been on stage and I have no intention of putting my vocal talents back in action. However, time is running out, and the only possibility that seems plausible now is a possible shaving of beards,…….
Those of you who read my blog, are almost definitely also readers of James Hoffmannnn’s blog. I look forward to catching up with Jim for lunch tomorrow and flailing him for his poor spelling of Irish Stouts……..(just one more ‘n’) edit: Jim has since corrected the error, but I will leave this comment up regardless as such an insult to an Irish institution requires just criticism. On another point, Jim and I shall be exchanging gifts today from our different coffee travels; his trip being the Nordic, mine being Vancouver. Both presents are inexpensive but coffee related and shall be revealed in a matter of hours. So exciting.
On another quick note, along with my good friend Deaton Pigot, the roaster in the cafe, we have set up a new blog to help showcase the coffee personalities and artists in our cafe. Please add it to your feeds and comment away.