The 2023 World Barista Championship was held at the World of Coffee, in Athens, Greece. The coveted title of World Barista Champion was won by Boram Um, whose family owns Fazenda Um— the farm that produced this coffee in your pack!

Paul Stephens, Head Roaster at Rosso Coffee, was the one responsible for roasting Boram’s coffee that helped him take first place. Let’s dive into what it takes to be crowned the best Barista in the world!

This year was the third time that Boram Um won his national Barista competition in Brazil and was his country’s representative for the world stage at the international Barista Competition. In the month leading up to the competition, Um stayed in Calgary and trained for the competition at Rosso Coffee.

“This is the second year that Boram has come and trained here,” Paul Stephens, the Head Roaster at Rosso, explained. “It was great to work with him. I would roast the coffee, then we would let it sit for a bit of time, and then we would try them together. I really liked having that direct feedback. We went through about 40 roasts before finding the right profile.”

During the competition, each competitor performs a routine consisting of three rounds; espresso, a milk-based drink and a signature drink.

Um began his routine by explaining the theme of his presentation: teamwork.

“Have you ever heard the line ‘it takes teamwork to make the dream work’? Well, those are two things I want to tell you about today; the team and my dream,” Um explained.

For the espresso round, Um used an anaerobically fermented Gesha from Janson Family Estates in Panama. 

“The Panama Gesha was an incredible coffee. It was very well processed and balanced with beautiful flavours. It was a little tricky to roast, but we made it work,” Stephens shared with us.

Um used a blend of 70% Panama Gesha and 30% Brazil Pink Bourbon from his family’s farm for the milk-based drink round.

"With the help of our team roaster Paul Stephens, we developed a unique roast profile for both of these coffees,” Um explained to the judges.

For the third round, Um combined different ingredients that represented producers, roasters, baristas, and consumers with a shot of his family’s natural pink bourbon, illustrating his theme of teamwork.

Um ended his routine by saying, “Together, with teamwork, we were able to elevate your coffee experience. But this type of teamwork happens every single day in every cafe, every roaster and every coffee farm.”


July 28, 2023 — Zara Snitman

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