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A few words on the Barista Competition

June 6, 2008

So I finally figured out how to post on this thing…  Took me long enough… I wanted to do a short recap on my experience in my first Barista Competition at the 1st Prairie Region Barista Competition held here at Fratello and Espuccino.  We had a great field of 13 competitors of which I’m  proud to say I was one, competing over the 2 day event. 

For many of us, it was our first experience in this kind of event and despite the fact that many Barista can pound out top-notch drinks at high speed, it’s a whole new animal when you add in camera’s, spectators, up to 50 people watching online at any given time, oh and a time limit, judges, and the necessity of a running commentary.  You get the idea.  It’s fun and scary all at the same time.

For myself, I’m pretty proud of how I did.  I don’t think I actually slept all that much on Friday night as I was mentally reviewing my routine over and over (and over and over).  Since I’d never done this before, I really had no idea what to expect.  I took away a LOT of great lessons, many of which will now help me be a better Barista trainer.  I also met some great people.  This fact alone made the event worthwhile.  In the end I finished 4th and I tip my hat to all of the competitors.

An interesting thing that I experienced was that of the two days.  I was actually more nervy on Sunday than on Saturady.  I don’t think it was because it was the finals versus prelims, I think it ‘s the old case of a little knowledge can be dangerous.  What I mean by that is that on Saturday, I was soo fucused on what I was doing that I had no time to think about much.  Sunday I was feeling a little bit better going in and then I said “Go”…  I think it cost me and chalk it up to lessons learned.

All in all, I had a great time, and I hope that others did as well.  I can hardly wait for my next chance to compete and attend an event like this.  Be it a Jam or official competition, I think it’s all great.

I would like to offer thanks to Russ, Chris and Jason Prefontaine for their support and the push.  John, thanks for your critical eye and excellent advice and support, next year?  Frankly, everyone from Fratello and Espuccino put a lot of effort into gettingthe place ready and helped me immensely and deserve a huge thanks.  

Cheers, Joel