SOURCE: Specialty Coffee Association of America

Specialty Coffee Association of America

June 20, 2011 19:35 ET

Salvadoran Alejandro Mendez Wins the World Barista Championship

LONG BEACH, CA--(Marketwire - Jun 20, 2011) - Alejandro Mendez from Viva Espresso in El Salvador took the top spot at the recent 12th Annual World Barista Championship held in Bogotá, Colombia on June 5, 2011. This marks the first time a competitor from a coffee-producing country won the competition, signifying the growing adoption and professionalism of specialty coffee around the world.

Alejandro's performance included a signature drink made with Salvadoran coffee and accented with an infusion hand-crafted from coffee pulp, reflecting creativity as well as a sophisticated knowledge of coffee processing and preparation. This was his second year competing. As Champion, he will receive a number of prizes including an Athena Lever 2 Groups Espresso Machine, a trip to Hamburg, Germany to visit the headquarters of Mahlkoenig Grinders, a trip to Brazil sponsored by Café Exports, along with other coffee products and gifts.

Alejandro competed alongside competitors from over fifty-three (53) nations. Second place went to Pete Licata from Honolulu Coffee Company in the USA and Matt Preger of Axil Coffee Roasters in Australia placed third. Javier Garcia from Spain, Miki Suzuki of Japan, and John Gordon rounded out the finalist set taking fourth, fifth, and sixth place, respectively.

The World Barista Championship was held in conjunction with ExpoEspeciales (www.expoespeciales.com), an annual conference and exhibition hosted by the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation. The event drew over 10,000 coffee producers, industry professionals, and suppliers. Along with thousands of spectators watching live, nearly 40,000 viewers tuned in via live video stream. The World Barista Championship is produced by World Coffee Events and Managing Director, Cynthia Chang, commented, "It's exciting to see the caliber of competitors increase each year and interest growing along with it. Each year, the venue and audience gets bigger, which is reflective of the ever-increasing popularity of specialty coffee and respect for the craftsmanship of the barista."

Sponsors of the World Barista Championship included: Colombian Coffee Growers Federation, Nestlé Nespresso SA, Nuova Simonelli, MAHLKÖNIG, Urnex Brands Inc., and Everpure.

The World Barista Championship is the preeminent international coffee competition. The organization -- founded by the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe and the Specialty Coffee Association of America -- focuses on promoting excellence in coffee, advancing the barista profession, and engaging a worldwide audience with an annual championship event that serves as the culmination of events held in more than 50 member nations around the globe.

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