Nordic Barista Cup 2013: The Beginning

Yesterday marked the beginning of one of the top coffee conferences in the world – the Nordic Barista Cup. If you haven’t made it down, don’t worry – here are a few pictures and links to help keep you up to date on the proceedings.

This year’s event is being held in Oslo, the third time the city has hosted the event. The focus country for this year is Brazil; this means that the coffees being used are all Brazilian and the focus charity is in Brazil.

First of all, you need to meet the teams who are competing this year. Each team comprises three baristas from the country, as well as a Brazilian barista.

Finland

From left to right: Helcio Junior, born and raised in the coffee-producing region of Carmo de Minas, Brazil; Kalle Frese, this year’s Finnish barista champion; Noora Kahila, this year’s Finnish Brewer’s Cup champion; and Antti Mäkinen, the barista trainer at Johan & Nyström in Helsinki.

Denmark

From left to right: Rasmus Gamrath, this year’s Danish barista champion; Tobias Jensen, this year’s Danish Brewer’s Cup champion, who also came 10th in the World Brewer’s Cup in Melbourne; Sarah Elisabeth Lindqvist, this year’s Danish Taster’s Cup champion; and Victor Souza from Brazil.

Sweden

From left to right: Tobias Palm, this year’s Swedish Taster’s Cup champion and bar manager at Johan & Nyström; Oskar Alvérus, owner of Drop Coffee in Stockholm; Daniela Capuano, who grew up in the coffee-growing region of Minas Gerais, Brazil; and Anna Nordström, specialty coffee manager at Löfbergs in Karlstad and SCAE Sweden board member.

Norway

From left to right: Madeleine Johnsen, the Norwegian Coffee in Good Spirits champion of 2013; Nikolai Aunbakk, this year’s Norwegian Taster’s Cup champion; Alexander Hansen, this year’s Norwegian Brewer’s Cup champion; and Allan Botrel, a market agent for the Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association in Europe.

Iceland

From left to right: Carolina Franco, who placed 5th in the World Brewer’s Cup this year in Melbourne; Vala Stéfansdóttir, this year’s Icelandic Coffee in Good Spirit’s champion, who also placed second in both the Icelandic Taster’s Cup and Icelandic Barista Championship; Kristín Jökulsdóttir, this year’s Icelandic Taster’s Cup champion; and Torfi Torfason, this year’s Icelandic Barista Champion.

All of the coffees used in the competition for the Nordic Barista Cup have come from the focus country for the year: Brazil. Of the four coffees, all roasted by Oslo locals Solberg and Hansen, two have been roasted for filter and two have been roasted for espresso. The two espresso roasts are: the Fazenda Passeio, a pulped natural Bourbon coffee that comes from the Sul de Minas region of Brazil, grown at an altitude of 1,100 meters; and the Bourbon, a natural Yellow Cauai coffee from the Mogiana region, also grown at 1,100 meters. The two filter roasts are: the Fazenda Recreio, a pulped natural Yellow Bourbon grown in the Mogiana region at 1,050 meters; and the Café Brauna, a pulped natural Catuai from the Matas de Minas region, grown at 1,250 meters.

There were a number of talks yesterday, most of them given by restauranteurs rather than coffee specialists. Rene Redzepi of Noma, Pontus Dahlstrøm of Maaemo, Christian Nedergaard of Ved Stranden 10, and Alex Bernson of Sprudge all gave talks: you can watch them as they are posted online here.

There was a lot of cupping and espresso tasting, and the baristas had a “latte art throw down”, as well as an ongoing competition to see who was the best team of the day in regards to service, hospitality, and of course, coffee quality.

After the last shot was pulled and the coffee grounds settled, all 200-something of us headed over to the Brazilian ambassador to Norway’s residence for some top quality wining, dining, and dancing. Sweden was announced as the winning team of the day, there was a bit of dancing, and a lot of cachaça… almost too much cachaça. Oh, and a help-yourself humidor. It was a lovely end to the first day, and after a quick stop at the famous Oslo coffeeshop/bar Fuglen for some more tipples, I’m sure everyone was looking forward to the next day (just not the getting out of bed part).

For the most up-to-the-minute updates, you’ll want to follow @NordicBaristCu on Twitter (not sure what happened to the ‘P’). Brian of Dear Coffee, I Love You, is also taking some great Instagram photos; you can see everyone’s photos and updates by following the #NBC2013 hashtag.

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