El Salvador wins WBC - and two Mercanta coffees in top six!
This year’s World Barista Championship set a few records. Not only was it the first final to be held in a producing country - Bogotá, Colombia - but it was also won by a barista from a producing origin. El Salvador’s Alejandro Mendez took the top spot, using the wonderful El Salvadoran estate Finca La Ilusión - sourced by Mercanta! We were also thrilled to see another of our coffees in the top six - Australia’s Matt Perger came in third with the ‘Clouds of August’ microlot from Blackburn Estate in Tanzania.
It’s high time a producing country won the WBC - especially given that their baristas have unparalleled access to the entire coffee chain. Alejandro’s innovative performance focused on coffee as the crop of a living tree - his signature drink featured a single estate La Ilusión espresso and three different teas: the first from dried coffee flowers; the second from dried coffee ‘Cascara’ (cherry pulp); and the third from coffee beans still in their mucilage. In short, the entire production of a coffee tree! The judges first tasted the teas one by one, and then Alejandro mixed them together with the espresso shots. The Mercanta office is very keen to taste this ‘total coffee’ drink!
La Ilusión is a fantastic farm in the foothills of the Santa Ana volcano, managed by El Salvadoran coffee legend Ernesto Menéndez. We have been working with Ernesto since 2007, when another farm of his, Finca Alaska, was placed eighth in the Cup of Excellence and we bought the winning lot. The following year La Ilusión won the COE - and we have been buying it ever since. We were also thrilled to see that Alejandro’s winning coffee was roasted by Has Bean, a fantastic UK specialty roaster.
In second place came the USA’s Pete Licata, with coffee from his native Hawaii (another barista from a producing origin!). And in third place was Matt Perger, who focused on the taste and story of the Blackburn ‘Clouds of August’ microlot, rather than the technical details. Blackburn is an estate with an amazing story and Clouds tastes outstanding - so Matt’s approach was spot on!
Congratulations to all of the winning baristas, roasters and farmers! You can watch the top performances here - and this is the final line up:
2011 WORLD BARISTA CHAMPION:
ALEJANDRO MENDEZ, EL SALVADOR (710.5)
2nd Pete Licata, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (659.5)
3rd Matt Perger, AUSTRALIA (659)
4th Javier Garcia, SPAIN (631.5)
5th Miki Suzuki, JAPAN (629.5)
6th John Gordon, UNITED KINGDOM (613.5)