Western Regional Barista Championship on August 14

Related entries in Coffee Culture, Vancouver coffee

The 2008 Western Regional Barista Championship will be held this week on August 14th at Heritage Hall (3102 Main St) in Vancouver. It’s a free event that’s open to the public, although I can’t find what the times are.

There will be at least 12 contenders competing in the western regional finals. Each competitor must prepare and serve 12 separate espresso beverages - 4 espresso, 4 cappuccinos, and 4 "signature" drinks of their own creation. They have 15 minutes to prepare all of the drinks. A panel of judges look at station cleanliness, taste, beverage presentation, technical skills and overall judges impression.

The top 3 baristas from each regional competition will go to the Canadian Barista Championship on October 21-22 in Montreal. The winner of that competition will move on to the World Barista Championship in Atlanta in 2009.

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Vancouver Espresso Collective Wallpaper

Related entries in Coffee Culture, Fun with coffee, Vancouver coffee

The baristas of cleanhotdry.com have created a desktop wallpaper featuring espresso pulled and consumed from Vancouver cafes. Clean, simple, elegant - show your love for Vancouver coffee!

You can download the wallpaper in various sizes here.

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Coffee Stain paintbrush

Related entries in Coffee Culture

I haven’t experimented much with brushes in Photoshop. Most of my work is image editing, not much in terms of design. But I caught this post by Darren Barefoot on the Coffee Stain brush designed by Jelena Jovović and I just had to try it.

Fun, hey? It’s so easy to use!

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Simon Law’s frothy art

Related entries in Coffee Culture, Coffee around the world, Fun with coffee

Simon Law is a barista in Australia at Cottesloe’s John Street café, and he’s in line as an artist of his own right, using some interesting techniques to turn coffee into art:

From the post:

Simon uses the tip of an oven thermometer to flick away fragments of surface froth, exposing the coffee colour underneath.

"The customers love it," he says. "But when we’re busy I get frowned at by the boss for taking too long."

He has no formal art training other than high school, where he didn’t take to painting but loved sculpture and metalwork.

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Black coffee impresses

Related entries in Coffee Culture

From PostSecret:

Interesting observation.

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Barista Action Figure

Related entries in Accessories, Coffee Culture

You know coffee is ingrained into our culture when Baristas appear as toys:

This BARISTA figure is named Nico. "She’s the barista who pours your morning espresso. No other barista in town makes a latte like Nico. Her beans are always freshly ground, she never tamps the filter basket too tight and her foam is perfect: thick and decadent, like a pillow of edible clouds. Each 5 inch tall hard plastic Barista Action Figure has moveable arms and legs and comes with two interchangeable heads and two different sized cups (tall and grande) that she can hold in her hand. Comes on an illustrated blister card with Nico’s history and other valuable information on the back."

I think I’ve seen it all now. And love the tattoo.

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Coffee as an aspect of culture

Related entries in Coffee Culture

t o n x . o r g has a really fabulous post on the link between coffee and culture.

Coffee is a cultural conundrum. The coffee bean ranks second in global trade, right behind oil. It is consumed daily by more than half of the adult population of the U.S. and is even more popular in Europe. Millions of lives are bound up in the coffee economy. Yet few people have much idea of what coffee is or what goes into an enjoyable cup. Most strangely, it is rare to encounter someone with both a love for and knowledge of coffee who is not already working in the coffee industry, unlike for instance fine wine which has a hundredfold more connoisseurs than producers.

Great ideas! I think Vancouver is probably on par with Seattle in terms of understanding what the coffee culture is. And how profound it is wound up into our lives, whether we are just coffee consumers or are a more intimate part of the coffee industry. It definitely warrants more attention - I think you find more people flaunting their love of bad coffee than you do with wine!