February 09, 2023


World Barista Championships, Melbourne, 2013

World Barista Championships, 2013, Melbourne

 After many sweating palms had gripped coffee tampers, much coffee had been ground and loads of milk had frothed, the World Barista Champion of 2013 was crowned last weekend on 26 May 2013.

Our CEO, Effie Gidakos, with 2012 Champ Raul Rodas (Guatemala)

Our CEO, Effie Gidakos, with 2012 Champ, Raul Rodas (Guatemala)

53 champions from around the world represented their country at the World Barista Championships (“WBC”).  Melbourne hosted this year’s event and the rounds and finals were held during the Melbourne International Coffee Expo 2013 (23 – 26 May 2013).

A packed arena, WBC 2013, Melbourne

A packed arena, WBC 2013, Melbourne

Each barista was allocated 15 minutes to prepare 3 types of coffees for the judges: An Espresso (x 4), a Cappuccino (x 4) and a ‘Signature Beverage’ (being the barista’s own individual and creative coffee based creation) (x 4).  The Espresso had to be a “1fl. Oz. beverage [made] from ground coffee, poured from one side of a portafilter in one continuous extraction” (2013 World Barista Championship Rules and Regulations – Version 2012.10.13).  The Cappuccino had to be a “coffee and milk beverage that [produced] a harmonious balance of rich, sweet milk and espresso” (2013 World Barista Championship Rules and Regulations – Version 2012.10.13). And the Signature Beverage had to showcase each individual barista’s “creativity and skill to create an appealing and individual espresso focused beverage” (2013 World Barista Championship Rules and Regulations – Version 2012.10.13).

Coffee station, ready for competition!

Coffee station, ready for competition!

Comprising a total of 7 judges, there were 4 sensory judges, a roaming head judge and 2 technical judges.  The 4 sensory judges who sat at the presentation table of each coffee station and to whom each barista presented, judged the ‘sensory’ traits of each of the coffees.  These included the visual aspects of each coffee (such as, the consistency and persistence of crema or foam), the flavour of each coffee (its sweetness, acidity and bitterness), the character and tactile of each coffee (its body, roundness and smoothness) as well the overall customer service skills of each barista (professionalism, attentiveness and overall impression) (2013 World Barista Championship Rules and Regulations – Version 2012.10.13).

The sought after WBC 2013 trophies!

The sought after WBC 2013 trophies!

The 2 technical judges closely watched and followed each barista’s movements whilst he/she prepared the beverages and judged on the technical aspects of preparing each coffee, including, the skillful use of the coffee equipment (such as the grinder and the espresso machine), the management of the coffee station, clean up and general hygiene throughout the presentation (2013 World Barista Championship Rules and Regulations – Version 2012.10.13).

Of the 53 barista champions from around the globe who represented their country, it is an understatement to say each of these competitors were masterful and technically brilliant and imaginative with the different types of coffee extracted in what has now become the science of coffee.  The following competitors made it through to the finals: Peter Licata (USA); Nick Clark (New Zealand); Matt Perger (Australia); Francesco Sanapo (Italy); Colin Harmon (Ireland) and William Hernandez (El Salvador).

All finalists gave illuminating presentations; particular stand out moments were:

William Hernandez (El Salvador)

William Hernandez (El Salvador)

William Hernandez’s (El Salvador) served his Espresso and immediately ‘cupped’ it by covering it with an overturned wineglass to capture the bouquet of the coffee.  Once the Espresso was uncovered (and the bouquet caught in the wineglass which the judges inhaled) the shot of Espresso was poured into the wineglass for its tasting:  This process and style of serving using the wine industry’s ‘swirl, sniff and sip’ method apparently helped to release the full aroma of the coffee bean and procure the full taste and flavour of it too.

Colin Harmon (Ireland)

Colin Harmon (Ireland)

Colin Harmon’s (Ireland) Signature Beverage was a recreation of a (non-alcoholic) traditional Irish stout made from coffee.  Frothy, and bold, the judges were informed to expect 4 things from this drink: That it be served at room temperature; it have a foamy head and apple acidity; to taste the sweetness of cherry and chocolate and to finish with a strong progressive coffee flavour.

Peter Licata’s (USA) Signature Beverage was an iced Espresso served in champagne saucers: “I as the barista become the voice of this coffee”. Licata chilled the Espresso, poured it over ice and stirred in a self-made palm sugar simple syrup (which he informed the judges added a rich, heavy sweetness) and non-alcoholic bitters made with citrus and quinine (which added character and complexity and accentuated the acidity through the citrus notes in the bitters).

Australia's Matt Perger

Australia’s Matt Perger

And, of course, who could forget Aussie Matt Perger’s cow named ‘Blossom’ and the milk she produced!  For his Cappuccino, Matt explained to the judges the effect of a cow’s diet on the flavour of the milk, how this brought a complexity and paired more intimately with the espresso.  He guided the judges to look for a subtle raisin sweetness, green matcha tea flavour and a super clean finish.

After what was surely a hotly contested competition, the winners and results were finally announced: Peter Licata (USA) in first place; Matt Perger (Australia) in second place; William Hernandez (El Salvador) in third place (an amazing achievement given he has only been a barista for 12 months!), Colin Harmon (Ireland) in fourth place, Nick Clark (New Zealand) in fifth place and Francesco Sanapo (Italy) in sixth place.

The Champ, USA's Peter Licata

The Champ, USA’s elated Peter Licata

A massive congratulations to Peter Licata!  Of course, we congratulate all of the 53 baristas who competed, and especially the finalist artisans, for their contribution to these championship:  Your dedication, passion and love of your craft has raised the bar of the humble coffee bean to an all new level and we cannot wait to see what’s in store at the WBC in Italy next year!

The Finalists & Winners of WBC 2013

The Finalists & Winners of WBC 2013

An enthralling event that showcased the skillfulness, expertise and craftsmanship of world class international champion baristas, the WBC was a professionally organised event carried out in an accessible and purposely built arena.  It is a quintessential event for all coffee enthusiasts and connoisseurs:  DO NOT MISS IT!!!

WORLD BARISTA CHAMPIONSHIPS - MELBOURNE 2013, reviewed by Admin on 2013-06-02T23:03:45+00:00 rating 3.3 out of 3


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