Day One – It’s Beginning!

NBC SignsEveryone is arriving now, bright and early. They began trickling through the doors at 8 a.m., wandering into the massive space that the 2006 Nordic Barista Cup (NBC) organizers secured for this unique event. We are situated down by the water at Strandgade 100 in Hal D (check it out at www.hal-d.dk) in what was formerly military housing and administrative buildings.

Team Norway

One of the coolest things about the first day of this event is seeing the stylish team uniforms each of the five (Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Sweden) competing countries have designed to wear throughout the event. The Norwegians, for example, look suave in sweater vests and wool caps, with ties in their country’s colors.
As attendees arrive, they register and receive the always popular goodie bags!

Team Sweden

These are filled with treats from the NBC’s generous sponsors, and include an umbrella and a jump rope—quite mysterious! But such is the way of the NBC; neither attendees nor barista teams know what will take place over the course of the three day event other than what is listed in the skeletal program.

Team Finland

However, barista teams just returned from a briefing with the judges where they did learn a few things: they learned not necessarily the criteria upon which they will be judged, but that there will be a winner of each of the three days, with the final winner announced at the Gala dinner on Saturday night. The teams will not know how many points will be amassed on each of the days, so they are encouraged to try their hardest each day (goes without saying).

Team Denmark

But perhaps the most exciting news teams learned in their meeting was that the final winner of this year’s NBC will win a trip to El Salvador to assist Café de El Salvador with the first El Salvador Barista Championship! The amazing Luis Rodriguez is here on hand to teach teams and attendees all about the coffees of El Salvador, which are gaining incredible prominence in the highest quality coffee programs in the world.

Team Iceland

Now everyone is chatting and munching on croissants, cheese and coffee brewed by sponsors Bunn and Clover. Breakfast is courtesy of the fabulous folks at La Marzocco! We look forward to the opening remarks beginning shortly from head organizer Jens Norgaard, to be followed by the first lecture, “Expand Your Toolbox,” led by Thomas Finn and Martin Hildebrandt, after which we will check back in for another report.
Don’t forget to post your comments and questions on the “Debate” section of this website, and to look back soon for more up-to-the-minute reports on this incredible event.

–Sarah Allen

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