Canadian Barista Championship, Montreal, Oct 21-22, 2008

Here are the final results (courtesy of John Manzo) of the Canadian Barista Championship held in Montreal on October 21-22 in conjunction with the Canada Coffee & Tea Show. Six of the 14 first round competitors qualified for the final:

1. Sammy Piccolo Caffè Artigiano Vancouver, BC 569.5 pts
2. Spencer Vieghweger JJ Bean Coffee Vancouver, BC 562.0 pts
3. Joel May Fratello Coffee Company Calgary, AB 555.5 pts
4. Chad Moss Transcend Coffee Edmonton, AB 551.5 pts
5. Phil Robertson Phil & Sebastian Coffee Calgary, AB 527.5 pts
6. Anthony Benda Café Myriade Montreal, QC 517.5 pts

The winner for the fourth time is Sammy Piccolo, who is both the Manager of Caffè Artigiano’s Burnaby (Vancouver) location and an owner (together with his brothers Michael and Vince) of 49th Parallel Roasters, also located in Vancouver. Sammy will represent Canada at the next World Barista Championship planned for April 16-19, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. He placed an unprecedented 2nd, 3rd and 2nd at the 2004, 2005 and 2006 World Barista Championships (three consecutive top 3 finishes). He did not compete after the 2006 WBC, and the following two years, Colter Jones and Mike Yung represented Canada at the WBC, with Colter placing a strong 7th in 2007 and Mike finishing an excellent 5th at the WBC earlier this year. Both Colter and Mike represented Caffè Artigiano (Mike is still there and Colter moved on to 49th Parallel Roasters). In summary, the Caffè Artigiano “barista gang” will have represented Canada for 6 consecutive years at the World Barista Championships! Wow!

Congratulations to all of the competitors for elevating the quality of specialty coffee and exhibiting a true passion for your craft. Chad Moss and Anthony Benda may be a little disappointed with their placings (Chad won the 2004 South Australia regional barista competition; Anthony placed a fantastic 3rd at the Canadian Barista Championship in 2007 as a first-time competitor), but we congratulate both on their achievement to train for months and represent their artisan craft so well. Both Chad and Anthony competed with Terra Keramik espresso cups and cappuccino cups, as did Laura Perry (who unfortunately missed the finals) of Bridgehead Coffeehouses in Toronto. We thank you for placing your trust in our handcrafted, eco-friendly “competition grade” products. We also have a special partnership with Anthony (full disclosure!), who provides content for our online marketplace, including videos, recipes and tips around everything that is coffee and espresso.

And of course John Manzo would like me to mention that Western Canada continues to rule (see his blog) the Canadian coffee scene barista competitions (sorry Anthony!). 🙂

We also encourage you to check out the archived video coverage available at ustream.tv, as well as Liz Clayton’s coverage of the competition and Anthony Benda’s wrapup.

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