On the last day we got up at 6 AM to eat breakfast before going on a sightseeing tour "the Golden Circle" on our way back to Reykjavik.
We saw the waterfall Gullfoss, the Geysir and Thingvellir, which is the place the old Icelandic parliament met at.
The Icelandic nature is stunning and unlike anywhere else in the world. But when you feel the cold wind you kinda get why the Icelanders are so fond of warm coffee.
While we were sightseeing, back in Reykjavik the teams had been setting up their own booths since the early morning. The competition was to raise the most money for the charity organisation through selling different coffee experiences (at least that's how I understood it). You could bid on knocking over a huge mountain of coffee cups, on Swedish team members (for dates or slave work) or you could buy "special lattes" with alcohol, cuppings, coffee memorabilia, aeropresses and the coffee art that the teams had work on together with local artists. I got in on the Danish team's cupping (on vinyl records).
This last day was open to the public so the teams had plenty of opportunity to wrestle money out of the pocket of the rich Icelanders... Well, if they could find any...
The teams were more creative in this challenge this year than previously I thought. And it also looked like the team members were enjoying the whole time more than thinking about winning.
The Nordic Roaster competition was later that day and everybody got to taste filter brews of coffee from 10 roasters (mostly Nordic). The roasteries can send in any coffee they like but only get to decide how many grams per liter of water should be used. Everything else (grind size, brew parameters) are decided by Bunn. There was a couple of good coffees in there but the winner really stood out: Tim Wendelboe's Tekangu, which he found on the trip together with Peter Dupont earlier this year. It's an outstanding coffee and he did indeed win the Nordic Roaster of the year in the end. Congratulations Tim and Tim!
But for me the absolute highlight of the afternoon was the auctioning of the Goat - The 2006 WBC trophy that I won in Bern. It was first auctioned away at the NBC in 2006 in Denmark. The deal is you only get it for one year and all the money from the auction goes to charity.
Andreas Herzberg - in a fierce bidding against Jens Nørgaard - finally claimed the Goat for another year with the winning bid of 2000 Euros!! That's a heck of a lot of money for the Costa Rican kids! The Goat has got a good life.
The final closure of the NBC is the Gala Dinner. And yes, again this year there was a theme: Dress up as either Elvis, Dolly Parton, Bjork or Elton John. There were many fabulous outfits and people really got into character. We had great entertainment from the teams but what we were all waiting for was the announcement of the winning team. As you most likely know the champions this year was Denmark.
I was so happy to see Denmark win because they really had a great team this year. It was obvious they had a lot of fun and a learned a lot over the three days. But they were also really friendly to each other - even under stress - and shared this great spirit with everyone. Of course we are extra proud that one of our baristas, Karen Dysted, was on the team. She's been one of the best barista in Denmark for years, but never competed before (mind you, the regular barista competition is not for everyone!).
The winning team gets to go to Costa Rica in January.
Congratulations Nordic Barista Cup champions 2009 Karen, Ea, Samuli & Morten!
As I mentioned before this was the first year for me where I didn't either compete, coach or judge and I enjoyed it immensly. It was great to meet and chat with the international attendees like Tim Wendelboe, Tim Varney, Mike Phillips, Liz Clayton, Bronwen Serna, Ken and Sarah from Barista Magazine and many, many more (I probably shouldn't even start to mention any names as I'm bound to forget a lot - sorry but I enjoyed every bit of conversation for sure!).
I look forward to see what Norway comes up with next year. I think the Icelanders did a great job this year and it'll be a tough act to follow. However, I think the lectures can be much more serious next year and we should talk more about how we do business in stead of taking the easy route of collecting for charity. I am glad however to see the earlier sponsors' "infomercial" lectures are gone for good. The social aspect of the NBC is a huge part but for most companies doesn't justify the entrance fee. However, knowing the Norwegians I have no doubt they are up to the task!
All pictures from Nordic Barista Cup can viewed on Flickr.
There is also a Pool with pictures from many of the attendees.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009