Covering Barista Camp 2015 as media partners was truly an incredible experience. We can hardly recommend any other event over Barista Camp. Receiving both education and inspiration makes it a top notch event.
We, at European Coffee Trip, did not take part in any educational track to capture the important moments from the event. We will be sharing the official video as well as all the coffee talks soon but in the meantime we would like to share what we considered the greatest points of Barista Camp 2015.
1 – Top-Notch Coffee Equipment
It’d be hard to find such a community gathering that provides a wider range of coffee equipment than the class rooms at the Camp. For Barista Intermediate the bars were equipped with San Remo, WEGA, Dalla Corte, Victoria Arduino and La Marzocco, two machines from each brand, that students could try and practice for exams with. Brewing classes used both Marco and BUNN batch brewers and you could see Mahlkönig’s EK43 as well as other grinders from HEMRO group all around the place. Thumbs up for sponsors and organisers for bringing all this together.
As you may know, the camp took place in a well known Italian summer resort of Riccione. Unfortunately the weather was pretty bad for most of the three days. Still, jumping into the water and having a morning swim was tempting and water was surprisingly warm. Kalle Freese and Andrew Tolley were amongst the brave swimmers and we enjoyed our morning swim with Jörg Krahl from Mahlkönig and Rihards Treijs form Gemoss Kafijas Studija.
3 – Delicious Coffee All Day Long
Are you having doubts about the hotel coffee quality? Forget it! Breakfast, lunch, dinner and anytime between was a time for tasty coffee. Thanks to coffee sponsors from Rocket Bean (Riga, Latvia), Five Elephant, The Barn (both Berlin, Germany), Cuperus (Antwerp, Belgium), Ditta Artigianale and Pascucci (both Italy) and tireless volunteers who were brewing their coffee all day long we could not run out of energy even with the busy program.
One of the rules of the event was: “always have your cupping spoon with you”. The reason is obvious, tasting of (not only) coffee was part of the daily routine. Furthermore several talks were enhanced with a cupping demonstrating the point of the speakers. We tasted coffee defects with Sang Ho Park, effects of various waters on coffee with Maxwell Collona-Dashwood and Christopher H. Hendon, under/well/over-extracted coffee with Scott Rao and the influence of heated/frozen coffee beans on the taste in the cup with Christian Klatt.
5 – Bag of Goodies and T-Shirt Design
if the reason for not joining Barista Camp was the price the following definitely cheered everyone up. Every single participant received a goodie bag of a significant value and collected even more products from sponsors later on. Barista Camp Tamper from RB, cupping spoon from W.Wright or an insulated bottle from Klean Kanteen to feature some. And the design of the goodie bag and the T-Shirt was great!
6 – Tibor Varady Takes Over Barista Guild of Europe
Over the last years Dale Harris has been the person pushing Barista Guild of Europe forward with an incredible help of Isa Verschraegen and the rest of the team. In his talk, he described this period of being the head of the organisation as a “dictatorship” which he wants to “democratize” in the future. Tibor Varady, owner of Espresso Embassy in Budapest, will lead the process as a new chief. He needs you, baristas, to take an active part in deciding the future of Barista Guild of Europe. The next year would otherwise be again about dictatorship and this is Tibor’s illustration of the misfortune.
(No Tim Wandelboe. No Arabica (too expensive). No tattoos (too hip). No alcohol. And no pop music, only trash metal! Please do not let Tibor make decisions on his own:))
7 – Pool Party and Team Challenges
It is easier to break the ice with a glass of wine in your hand. Team Challenges were designed for that with disciplines such as Blind Latte Art Contest, Surprise Blind Cupping & Nasty Drawing Contest and Catch The Flag Game. The next day a pool party brought all the participants on the dance floor and later also to the swimming pool and even later to the sea. More stories from those parties should be kept a secret.