And there you have it. A heart felt congratulations to Gwilym Davis from London, who emerged top barista in the 2009 World Barista Championship held this year in Atlanta GA after beating five other contestants with a total score of 623 points.
Sammy Piccolo of Canada came in second with 619.5 points and Michael Phillips third with 618.5 points. Pretty close race I must say. Rounding out the top six were Colin Harmon of Ireland, Lee Jong Hoon of South Korea (or Republic of Korea) and Attila Molnar of Hungary who came in fourth, fifth and sixth place respectively.
Gwilym Davis from London, England, in addition to winning Best Barista also took the Best Espresso and Best Signature Drink categories. It was a little harder for me to find out more information about Davis, but I guess he serves his espresso creations out of Gwilym & Crew’s Coffee Carts in London’s Whitecross Street and Columbia Road Martket Flower Market. They use Square Mile Coffee Roasters‘ beans. Apparently a lot of baristas and roasters go to him for their drinks… and now that the cat is out of the bag, I expect his lines to get even longer.
Sammy Piccolo is is highly regarded as the best barista in Canada and when I say this I think I am understating this. It so happens that he is the only barista to actually have placed in the top three spots in the World Championships four times in a row (including this just concluded competition). Now one of the reasons I am really excited about Sammy being in the top three is with regard to Caffé Artigiano and 49th Parallel. He and his brother started the Vancouver based franchise, Caffé Artigiano, a coffeehouse that I have visited on a few occasions, in Vancouver BC and also in Victoria BC. I have a blog post regarding my most recent trip to Victoria a couple of weeks back where I talk about my visit to Caffé Artigiano. I also didn’t know he is also the co-founder of 49th Parallel, a coffee roaster that does a pretty awesome job, yet, many that I have talked to, even in the barista/coffeehouse arena, have not really heard about. I can tell you that I think they do an awesome job and you can get 49th Parallel beans at Caffé Artigiano if you are in Vancouver or Victoria BC. For those of you in Seattle, head on down to Trabant Coffee. As far as I know, this is the only place in Seattle where you can taste 49th’s awesomeness.
Michael Phillips is a Chicago based barista with Intelligentsia Coffee. One thing interesting about Intelligentsia is that they are very actively involved in the coffee scene with regards to training baristas and tend to be well represented at the various barista competitions. The only place that you can certainly get Intelligentsia coffee is at Specialty’s Bakery and Cafe. There are a few in Seattle, however be warned that the Specialty’s on 4th Avenue does not serve Intelligentsia coffee but actually serves Peets Coffee. Unfortunately I don’t know of any traditional, non-chain indie coffeehouse or coffee shop in the Seattle area that serves Intelligentsia so Specialty’s is what I would go off on for now. Now if you happen to be in Victoria BC, you can get Intelligentsia at Dolce Vita Coffee Art but other than that, I don’t really know of any other coffeehouse in Vancouver or Victoria. If you do know of any other coffee shop in the Pacific Northwest that does serve Intelligentsia, please let us know in the comments.
I was not able to attend the competition but I was able to follow some of the buzz on twitter.