WBC – World Barista Championship 2011

World Barista Championship 2011The World Barista Championship kicks off in Bogotá, Columbia tomorrow. It will be the first time in WBC history that a coffee producing country has hosted the event. It might also be the first time that the winner comes from a coffee producing country (Raul Rodas, from Guatemala came close last year finishing 2nd).

This year, I think it will be hard to predict a winner. Out of the top 12 baristas in last years competition, only 1 is competing again this year: Stefanos Domatiotis who finished 6th. So the competition looks pretty open.

Another factor making it difficult to predict a winner is the high altitude (Bogotá is around 2,620 metres above sea level). Many debates have sprung up on coffee forums over the last year as to what affect this will have on the competitors’ coffees. Will it be a significant advantage for those baristas hailing from higher climbs?

Regardless of who wins, I’m sure the competition will be a good watch. Again it’s being streamed live over the internet. If my calculations are correct, events should be kicking off around 2pm (BST) each day. Keep a look out for John Gordon, representing the UK for the 2nd year running. He’s due to perform on Friday, around 7.15pm (again if my calculations are correct).

For more information on the WBC or too see the full schedule of events, visit their website.