The World Barista Championship will be held in Seattle April 15-18 of this year. The winner of the much touted US championship, Phuong Tran, will be competing for the title.

The WBC aims to foster quality and creativity in coffee, and to promote friendship and the sharing of coffee knowledge among baristas, roasters, growers and the public, around the world through showcasing the talent and professionalism of baristas.

The World Barista Championship is the ultimate barista competition testing every element that is required to produce a great cup of coffee: From technique and personal presentation, to beverage quality and taste, each competitor represents the best of their nation against the best of the world.

Barista’s will be judged on technical and sensory merit for making espresso, cappuccino, and one signature beverage. Technical points go for things such as Extraction time, Correct dosing and tamping, Understands grinder, and even how well the barista cleans the equipment. The sensory score is based on taste balance, colour/consistency of crema, presentation, temperature, explanation of custom beverage, and even customer service skills.

I think it would be worth while to attend myself (thinking about it - it’s free), and especially educational. There is a lot left to learn on my part about what makes up an exceptional espresso, just based on these judging criteria.