Monday, April 13, 2015

Babinski claims 2nd at World Barista Championship

Posted By on Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Following up on our March 11 cover story, "Raising the Barista," comes news out of the World Barista Championship in Seattle.
click to enlarge U.S. Barista champ and World Barista runner-up Charles Babinski, pulling shots at G&B. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • U.S. Barista champ and World Barista runner-up Charles Babinski, pulling shots at G&B.

Our Colorado Springs-born subject, Charles Babinski, pulled out an impressive second-place finish over the weekend.  Australia's Sasa Sestic earned the win.

This was Babinski's first WBC appearance, having earned his entry via a U.S. Barista Championship win this past February in Long Beach, California. But he is both respectably and unfortunately familiar with the second-place slot, having finished as the runner-up in the USBC three consecutive years before he finally clinched victory in 2015. 

Based on what he told me in March, I presume he's at least content with the still highly impressive finish: "I'm going to take advantage of every opportunity that comes around. The competitions are a good example," he said. "It was something that I did because it was there and scared me a little bit and I knew that I would be in a better place at the end of it than I was in the beginning."

I also quoted Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters' Andy Sprenger, out of Lakewood, who's a two-time U.S. Brewers Cup winner, among many other accolades. Sprenger offered perspective on why these competitions matter to folks outside of the competitive circuit, essentially saying that they help encourage innovation, showcase an extreme level of commitment to the craft, and improve quality and service back at cafes from which the competitors hail. In turn, other coffee shops tend to follow the trendsetters. 

Sprudge's Twitter feed, @SprudgeLive had the most comprehensive coverage from the weekend, should you care to see each competitor's drinks and lots of backstory commentary. 

Here's just a few highlights from the top finishers:

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