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being the best barista

I want to be the very best. Like no one ever was. –Pokemon Theme Song


If you get two people in a room together who do the same thing and take pride in what they do, they will have an opinion as to who is doing a better job at it.  If you get two competitive people in the same situation, they will try to outdo each other to prove that they are better at it. This is of course true for all kinds of things we recognize as inherently competitive endeavors such as foot races, hitting baseballs, and shooting hoops.  It also however is going to be true of more esoteric behaviors, like solving Rubik’s Cubes, performing cheerleading routines, and being a professional barista.

In 1998, a group of Norwegian coffee professionals decided they wanted to settle this question once and for all and started the Norwegian Barista Championship, a competition to see who the best beanslinger was in the country.  By 2000 they opened a higher round of competition, the World Barista Championship, held first in Monte Carlo, to see who among Norway’s neighbors would try to best the champion from the coffee obsessed country. What started as a modest bit of fun has since ballooned into a truly global phenomenon.  The 2019 World Barista Championship attracted competitors and spectators from 53 countries. Its winner, Jooyeon Jeon from Seoul, South Korea had travelled nearly 7,000 miles to Boston where the competition was held, flying with coffee, café wares, and other ingredients, to take home the win which conferred nothing more than a trophy and bragging rights.

Specialty coffee professionals are a passionate bunch and a clever bunch. From the novice chain shop barista to the owner of a well respected roasting company, all of us have a deep desire within us to share what we have with the world.  We know we have been given access to something delicious and comforting that brings us out of our slumber and lets us face the world, and we want to give some to you. “This is delicious, try some” is the common thread that connects us all.  Barista competitions are a way to quantify that, of seeing who is the best at offering this kind of hospitality, who can make the most delicious coffee and who can communicate what makes it special to the world. In my role as the Head Barista of Peace Coffee, I am constantly looking for every possible way to best give our baristas the tools and knowledge that they can use to make that coffee taste its best and serve it meaningfully and with care to those folks who come to our cafés.  I want to learn from the very best, and so for that reason, I am a coffee competition judge.

Avatar image: owl illustration

Published by Peace Coffee on March 26, 2020.

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Sure! Here is approximately how long each of our package sizes lasts, based on mugs per day.

Daily Brew 12oz 20oz 5lb
1 mug / day
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3 weeks 1 month 4 months
3 mugs / day
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1 week 2 weeks 2 months
6 mugs / day
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1 week 1 week 6 weeks
8 mugs / day
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