Nordic Barista Cup 2004
The Nordic Barista Cup 2004, a contest in coffee excellence, was held in Iceland between the 28th and 30th of November. The teams came from all of Scandinavia, except the Faroe Islands, and every barista was armed to the teeth with talents. This was the second time the competition was held, and for those who don´t know: the only rule in the NBC is that the hosting country determines the rules of the competition.
This year Kaffitár´s opportunity to be the king of rules came about, and Kaffitár got to decide where the baristi should toe the line. The competition took place in Njarðvík and Reykjavík, but also in the countryside of Iceland, e.g. at a dairy farm, near Selfoss, 50 kilometers from Reykjavík. The main events, though, took place at the the Kaffitár factory in Njarðvík, where the contest began and ended.
In total, the competition amounted to three days barista fiesta with all the pale people from Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden, and each country put on a great show. It was a lot of challenging work as well: roasting and cupping, so the national teams had to make their own espresso blend, which had to be used from beginning to the end of the competition, trying to earn points along the way.
The teams faced challenging time constraints, using all their considerable talents to win, and it was even harder then anybody had expected. At one station of the competition the teams had to choose one member to compete in “the fastest barista of the north,” (making single espressos with single filters) while at the dairy farm one member of each team had to fill the frothing pitcher by milking a cow. Naturally, the teams also competed in regular barista routines. Of course!
The coffee used was from Mexico, specially chosen for this event, and came with an informative lecture by Jose Cleofas Arreola. Icelandic milk was in the limelight as well, and this volcanic fusion -between Mexico and Iceland- became a very hot and good one in fact.
On the second day the teams listened to many lectures on milk, where it was examined down to the smallest molecules. The name one of the lecture was: Molecular milk steaming in theory by MS and Morten Munchow. But Icelandic milk was not the only ingredients in focus; other Icelandic products were used as well.
In the morning of the final day the teams gathered in the Kaffitár factory of Kaffitar where the main event was anxiously awaited , the event that would determine which country would win. The challange posed to each team was to make coffee drinks from cream-cheese, skyr (Icelandic yogurt), vitamins, pap and all kinds of spices and sweets. With two kinds themes as backdrops many found it very difficult or even impossible to use all ingredients, but everybody had fun trying.
When this was over the result should have been clear, since the last part of the contest was supposed to be “just for fun” at a dinner party at Hotel Borg. But after the “last section” of the contest at Kaffitár´s factory, two of the countries were almost even in scoring, so it was evident that the last event was going to decide which country would win.
Much to everybodys surprise the last contest was a SingStar-contest (aka karaoke). After an enthusiastic outburst of singing from every team the judges from Italy, USA and Germany announced the winners. Denmark captured victory this year with a total of 726,1 points! Everybody, 110 guests from 12 different countries gave the Danish team a big hand, and the proud Danish team sang a extra song with great gusto.
One team had won, and everybody was glad to have taken part in NBC, because it had been a very entertaining contest, and especially because it was so suspenseful and exciting right to the last minute.