In early 2015, Seattle played host to one of coffeeâ€™s largest events: the World Barista Championship. Competitors from over 50 countries came to perform in front of an international audience of hundreds, with thousands more watching online. The World Barista Championship is a tremendous industry event, with an end goal of finding a Champion to serve as a global ambassador for specialty coffee for the following year.
We sat down with 2014 World Barista Champion Laila Willbur to discuss what the role the competition has played in her coffee career, and how the WBC influences baristas and the coffee world today.
Laila is the Vice-Chair of the Barista Guild of America and director of coffee for Cherry Street Coffee House in Seattle, WA
About Laila Weillbur
Laila Willbur had an exciting year in coffee in 2014: After winning the United States Barista Championship in Seattle, she travelled to Rimini, Italy, to represent her country at the World Barista Championship. (She placed 10th.) In the ensuing months, Lailaâ€”who is Director of Coffee at the Cherry Street Coffee House chain of cafes in Seattleâ€”made many trips as a barista ambassador and representative of her title. Among them, she travelled to Panama for Letâ€™s Talk CoffeeÂ® 2014. Joined by producer Emilio Lopez Diaz of Cuatro M and roaster Phil Beattie of Dillanos, Laila and the team shared with the audience the story of collaboration that led to her barista victory.
8 Things To Learn FromÂ Laila Willbur
- What kinds of challenges face a competitor?
- What did preparing for a competition look like for you?
- What were you least prepared for going into the competition?
- How does a country become a sanctioned body for the WBC?
- What does the WBC present for the countries that compete?
- What is the role or a WBC champion after they win?
- What do you see for the future of the WBC?
- What does the WBC mean to you?
About Prima Coffee Equipment
Prima Coffee Equipment isÂ a speciality coffee equipment supplier based out of Louisville, Kentucky. From their inception, they have set out to make the best coffee brewing equipment available to the general public. Learn more aboutÂ Prima Coffee Equipment fromÂ prima-coffee.com