Monthly Archives: January 2012

2012 Judges Certification

 

 

It was a very interesting two day event, created by the SCAE Swedish Chapter, where 12 Swedish Judges were certified to judge the Barista Competition in Sweden in 2012-2013. I had the privilege of being there, both at the workshop and tests, hosted and executed by WCE Board Member Sonja Björk Grant.

As a barista that has competed three times, and seen slight changes in the Rules&Regulation, it was interesting to sit at the other side of the table. Being presented drinks that are made with an effort and passion are hard to dismiss, yet necessary to evaluate somehow objective. This is the great challenge, to understand how to evaluate these objective. Are they judged by what we’ve seen in the competition before (in past competitions), for instance in the Creativity box?

It also became apparent that some judges had a harder criteria in their opinion on drinks that were close to their own workfield. This judging outside the box, is what is evaluated in the “judges room” (the staircase at this workshop). Also the group dynamics within the judging group was interesting to experience. Some people, you immediately seem to be judging similar to, while others are on a different page altogether. Not sure yet what my opinion is on this, since I haven’t been judging at “gun point” yet, but I am sure this have some sort on impact on the final scores.

One criteria for passing that I really enjoyed, but not sure I passed with honors, was the espresso making test. Since I’ve heard about baristi cringing at the idea of being judged by people who can’t even pull a shot, this is essential for the credibility of judging. Our “guinea pig baristi” (the volunteer baristi being judged by us as a group for two days) also got the task to judge us! Great twist!

At the end of the day, I passed the certification of which I am both happy and grateful for. I am sincerely looking forward to be experiencing the competitions and see all the fantastic baristi of Sweden in action! I know I always said that competition is a great way to learn about coffee. I have a strong feeling judging will teach me equally much!

NP: Travis Re Offender

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taking aim at 2012

2012 looks good from here. My whole last year was an adaption to both the Stockholm- and Swedish coffee scene. It saw me compete in the Swedish Barista Championships and Swedish Brewers Cup, visit friends and making new friends in various places such as Berlin, Paris, New York and Copenhagen as well as becoming a part of Gothenburg roasters Da Matteo Torrefazione and representing them in Stockholm and I got to meet a lot of interesting people through that as well.

This blog is not about the future, or about the current status of things. It’s more like a recap of past events. However, with 2011 still fresh in mind, there is a lot to take aim at. First of all, my family situation got very stressed with me working full time at my McJob, and doing part time Da Matteo work as well. This had to change, so from Wednesday and onwards, I am finishing my Bachelor of Arts degree at Stockholm University in 2012. A man must know his limits, and I just have to give up the idea of working a McJob fulltime, while in pursuit of making a career within my area of passion happening as well as studies and family time. Not happening. So, with time at my own mercy not bound by a specific roster, I can get back to do random bar jobs and focus more on what’s going on in Stockholm. I actually look forward to be guest barista at various outlets this year.

About 2012 and my career in coffee, I can and wish not to go into too much detail, however plans looks exciting and happening, which is the most important part. If I’d say I had taken my barista skills as far as I can take them, I’d be lying through my teeth and pissing on all serious baristi out there. I look forward to take in new inspiration in my barista work, but my interest at the moment is really leaning towards trying to understand roasting and tasting. Nevertheless, I will definitely go to the WBC in Vienna this year to meet and greet old and new friends. I also hope that at least one trip to a coffee producing region will happen within the next 12-18 months.

As for my personal life, I seriously need a change of direction regarding my food habits as well as my excercising, so I am serious in my pursuit of learning about Raw Food, as well as taking up Capoeira again. I owe that to my body! 2012 looks good from here! Excited about it, and I hope to get a chance to meet You this year too!!

NP:Bonobo Pick Up

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tumblin’ man

In order to keep this blog free from most non-coffee related topics that I am at the moment going through (such as my fashion blogging phase, diet- and training phase and cultural snob phase), I will post those kind of topics on my tumblr account that you will find here! This is also directly linked to my twitter, that you’ll find here. See you there!

NP: The Accidents Tumblin’ Man

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