All the teams got up on stage with Jay and David this morning before our first lecture. The occasion? Well, to be applauded for being here, of course. But also so that they—along with us in the audience—could find out a secret surprise. I mentioned before how there are 5 baristas from Colombia—this year’s focus country—here to take part in the awesomeness that is the NBC. But they are actually participating in the events, we found out! Each of the five Nordic teams gets one Colombian barista to assist them in their activities.
Then, George Howell took the microphone and treated the audience to a discussion about, well, specialty coffee. It was terrific—Klaus Thomsen himself told me he thoroughly enjoyed it.
George’s lecture was followed by an in depth review of Colombian coffee regions and varietals. It was heavy, and quite engaging. And the crowd was delighted when the lecture was followed by a cupping of various varietals.
This was not only a cupping for the whole group (another cheers to those hard working volunteers for seamlessly executing a cupping for 150 people), but the very first competition for the teams.
Everyone’s having so much fun here in Oslo at the NBC, but the curriculum is pretty amazingly challenging and thought-provoking. But all seem quite attentive and enthusiastic about the lectures and discussions. And when there is a break, friendships are formed and it seems like everyone’s laughing together.
At the close of the cupping, we were invited to head downstairs for a BBQ! It was soooo good—really great food, and with the sun shining, it was delightful to soak some outside in before heading back for the rest of the day’s activities.
Up next: a lecture by Paul Songer on basic taste/sensory skills…