The specialty coffee industry will gather in Gothenburg this week at World of Coffee Nordic (click here to win tickets!). Starting tomorrow, you’ll be able to go see the World Championships for Coffee Roasting, Cup Tasting, Latte Art, filter coffee brewing in the Brewers Cup and Coffee in Good Spirits, a competition that involves the combination of coffee and alcohol. If you want to learn more than you want to observe the spectacle of a convention, the Re:co coffee symposium held at the same time will be your best bet.
The Nordic countries had a strong showing at the World Barista Championship in Seattle earlier this year, with both Kalle Freese from Finland and Alexander Hansen from Norway making it through to the semi-finals. Now it’s time for the rest of the Nordic champions to show us what they’re made of.
In short: a gamified version of a cup tasting—the standardised way most coffee professionals evaluate a coffee—whereby each competitor will have to sniff and slurp his or her way through a set of eight triangles, each containing two identical and one different coffee (the differences in each set might be huge, or very subtle). Competitors are judged on accuracy first, then time. Depending on the number of competitors, there might be any number of heats. It is generally over quite quickly, but is very spectator friendly.
From Norway: Jan A. Lorentzen, daily manager of Kaffemisjonen, Bergen’s finest coffee shop. From Sweden: Markus Vestergaard, from Gothenburg coffee bar da Matteo. From Finland: Panu Reinikainen of Johan & Nyström.
In short: a competition designed to judge latte art not only on creativity, but also consistency. Starting with a single free pour, rounds get progressively more demanding as the number of competitors goes down. It is a lot harder than it looks (even when it looks hard!). Here are some of the top pours from last years’ championship, via Sprudge.
Competitors prepare and serve three individual beverages for a panel of judges. The Championship consists of two rounds: a first round and a finals round. During the first round competitors complete two coffee services – a compulsory service and an open service. For the compulsory service, competitors prepare three beverages utilizing whole bean coffee provided to them by the competition. For the open service, competitors may utilize any whole bean coffee of their choosing and must also accompany their beverage preparation with a presentation. The six competitors with the highest score from the first round will go on to compete in the finals round consisting exclusively of an open service. (link)
From Finland: Mikaela Wallgren of Copenhagen’s The Coffee Collective. From Sweden: Aleksander Ruas, former Swedish Barista Champion, currently freelance. From Norway: Odd-Steinar Tøllefsen of Supreme Roastworks.
In this 3-stage event, competitors are evaluated on their performance evaluating the quality of green coffee (coffee grading), developing a roasting profile that best accentuates the desirable characteristics of that coffee, and on the ultimate cup quality of coffees roasted. (link)
Coffee in Good Spirits
During the preliminary round, competitors produce four drinks – two identical hot/warm coffee and alcohol-based designer drinks, and two identical cold coffee and alcohol-based designer drinks. The six competitors with the highest preliminary round scores will compete in the final round. The final round requires competitors to produce two Irish Coffees and two coffee-and-alcohol-based designer drinks. (link)
From Norway: Monica Strøm of Dromedar coffee.
The Re:co Coffee Symposium
Re:co (Regarding: coffee) is a unique, new symposium, launching in Europe at the Nordic World of Coffee in Gothenburg on the 15th and 16th of June 2015. Re:co is an event designed for high-level discussion, leading innovation and strategy development for those passionate and influential in the world of speciality coffee.
Through a mixture of speakers, interactive experiences and opportunities for conversation, Re:co will look primarily at the new speciality coffee market in Europe. The event will have a wider scope than the state of the market, the challenges we face and some of the solutions we have. Re:co will also shine a light on opportunities for growth and development and will delve into how these can be approached.
Re:co’s audience are those looking to gain insight into the new speciality coffee market in Europe, as well as those looking to be challenged and inspired by their industry. It is an essential event for leaders of businesses who believe that collaborative work and discussion can benefit all involved. (link)
Structured around the themes of Where are we now? Where can we go? and How do we get there? the symposium features speakers as varied as Morten Münchow, Chahan Yeretzian and James Hoffmann, and looks to be an immensely interesting event for anyone interested in the interactions between technology, science, business, hospitality—and coffee.
So, who’s going?
Photo of Man brewing taken from the official WoCN site.