Forget the World Barista Championship. That's so 3 weeks ago. I say out with the old and in with the new: in particular, in with the first-time-ever World Brewer's Cup, which debuted today at the 2011 SCAE World of Coffee Exhibition in Maastricht (Netherlands). If not for a few random tweets and Bunn's Facebook status updates today I might have missed this entirely.
So, here's a little unofficial guide to the competition based on what I was able to glean from various sources. There are a few events happening near-simultaneously.
Schedule. Note: Subtract 6 hours for Eastern Daylight Time. A live video feed is available (tried it out this morning). Today's action is mostly over, but hopefully archived videos will be made available later on. Personally, I *know* I won't be getting up at 4:00 a.m. tomorrow to catch part two of the first round of Latte Art.
Competitors. 16 total, it appears, with one per country.
1. World Brewers Cup - Highlights the craft of filter coffee brewing by hand. More than a few of us practice this craft, no? Aeropress, Hario, Chemex, oh my! The final round is tomorrow morning (6/23). Check out the short video here for the rules.
2. Latte Art World Championship - Gives us home baristas something to aspire to. More info. here.
3. Coffee in Good Spirits World Championship - Here it's all about baristas' mixology skills. Coffee + alcohol...what's not to like? See here. I caught a little bit of the first round earlier and noticed that manual brew gadgets were being used left and right, so any potential WBC fans might be interested in this competition as well.
4. World Cup Tasters Championship - "Awards the professional coffee cupper who demonstrates speed, skill, and accuracy in distinguishing the taste differences in specialty coffees." Intriguing! Whose tongue/palate will reign supreme? Here's the skinny.