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  • Barista comps

    [minirant]I spent a total of about 10 minutes at MICE over the weekend at the various comp stages. The more I watch these evolve, the less relevant they seem to be.
    • Coffee is not acceptable unless it was picked out of previously undiscovered stands of rainforest on a full moon between the hour of 12pm and 2am by virgins
    • The barista has little relevance to real world coffee. How many cafes serve coffee cocktails?
    • Cup tasting? Yep, get that and sure it's a good thing that some people have good palates and can display that. Relevant to real world cafes? Probably not when most drinks continue to be milky.
    • Pretty pictures? If you want- so long as the coffee tastes good
    • Coffee in good spirits? Let's just have a whisky/ey tasting instead and not taint it with cream

    I'd love to see a comp where the barista is given a machine and all of them use the same coffee, same grinder (deliberately out of whack) and same milk. They draw 5? 10? random coffee orders from a fishbowl and they make 'em in however many minutes. No more BS about how they came to choose the coffee. In fact, maybe they don't talk at all. They can just wear a superhero suit if they choose. Give the coffee to the judges and let them decide who has the real skills.

    At the end of the comp, perhaps the guy who makes the tamper trophies can actually present them rather than be pushed to the side just before the presentation because somebody "paid" (one way or another) to have the right to present the trophies.

    Time to revisit this comp format which is now becoming a "Best in Show" but for people who make coffee rather than people who groom and train dogs?[/minirant]

  • #2
    I am yet to see my first Barista Competition.
    I did however enjoy watching the You Tube videos of Matt Perger and Pete Licata that someone posted on here some months ago.
    These were immensely entertaining (in a sort of 'other-worldly' way) and I made a mental note to try to catch one of these comps in Melbourne in the future.
    All of these "best of" competitions are the same - Best Car of Show, Best Dog, Best Red Wine, etc - in that you're comparing apples with oranges and tweaking the criteria slightly could potentially throw up a set of different results.
    It's really 'just entertainment' isn't it.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
      I'd love to see a comp where the barista is given a machine and all of them use the same coffee, same grinder (deliberately out of whack) and same milk. They draw 5? 10? random coffee orders from a fishbowl and they make 'em in however many minutes. No more BS about how they came to choose the coffee.
      I wholeheartedy disagree.

      I have as much interest in seeing what I can see every day at my local cafe - that is, a busy person behind a machine - as I do in seeing stock standard Hyundai i30s driving on the road; home videos of random people and their families; or an u12s swimming lesson - all of which better reflect "real world scenarios" than do F1, Hollywood movies and the Olympics.

      None of the latter(s) come close to being relevant to "the real world", and yet all display people pushing the boundaries of what was previously thought possible, are far more entertaining and inspiring than the former, and are what people pay to see.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Rocky View Post
        It's really 'just entertainment' isn't it.
        Yes and no Rocky. When you have baristas who have mind coaches, other coaches flown in from the other side of the world, train for competition for 6 (or was that 12 months) a year and do nothing at the coalface, it's like competing in the 100m but with full and free access to the drug cupboard.

        For me the entertainment value has waned considerably across the last 5 years. I find that it's becoming "just BS"- little more than a pi$$ing contest for cashed up biggies.

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        • #5
          I just hope these coffee competitions won't one day have pole dancing girls on site doing promote for the event which happened many years ago in PC Show at Darling Habour.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by summercrema View Post
            I just hope these coffee competitions won't one day have pole dancing girls on site doing promote for the event which happened many years ago in PC Show at Darling Habour.
            You make it sound like that would be a bad thing

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
              Yes and no Rocky. When you have baristas who have mind coaches, other coaches flown in from the other side of the world, train for competition for 6 (or was that 12 months) a year and do nothing at the coalface, it's like competing in the 100m but with full and free access to the drug cupboard.

              For me the entertainment value has waned considerably across the last 5 years. I find that it's becoming "just BS"- little more than a pi$$ing contest for cashed up biggies.
              Once again you'd hit the nail on the head Chris, nice to hear from people who see things as they really are, rather than the rubbish the spin doctors would like to have us mere mortals believe.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by summercrema View Post
                I just hope these coffee competitions won't one day have pole dancing girls on site.
                So, ........you haven't been to MICE ??

                They just didn't bring their poles......;-D

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                • #9
                  Love your way with words Chris....

                  Can fully understand where you're coming from too, but only from what I read about these events; never been to one and probably never will.

                  Mal.

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                  • #10
                    I think both sides of the discussion here are on the mark.

                    I cringe to think that the World Barista championship has no real relevance to real life.

                    But as pointed out, so too does some of the elite level competition for various athletics.

                    Meanwhile, we can't all be super hero's of competition I guess. Some of us aspire to other great heights that do reflect on what we do in real life, without the fanfare of a "world" or "national" competition.

                    In reality, I don't think that these competitions will change format to come back to being close to reality. As it was said, it doesn't make for all that riveting watching!

                    Sometimes you find yourself moving along and noticing that there is in fact, nothing to see here...

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                    • #11
                      Nicely said Scoots...

                      Mal.

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                      • #12
                        I suppose F1 racing bears no relation to real life either, although no doubt more exciting than Barista comps, however quite a lot of innovation that does eventually apply to the man in the street comes out of such elite levels which have the money for R&D, hopefully that applies to coffee comps as well.

                        GrahamK

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by scoota_gal View Post
                          As it was said, it doesn't make for all that riveting watching!

                          Sometimes you find yourself moving along and noticing that there is in fact, nothing to see here...
                          My son and I dropped in on the final of the world latte art comp....... I couldn't have said it better myself Scoota.

                          There was in fact nothin' to see there....... they didn't even have an overhead camera set up, ........saw one competitor.........

                          and moved on.

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                          • #14
                            ....I await the World Gardening Championships with bated breath....particularly the 'weeding' category.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
                              ....I await the World Gardening Championships with bated breath....particularly the 'weeding' category.
                              Apparently big strides been made in that & paint drying. :-)

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