July 15, 2012: Raúl Rodas has won the World Barista Championship! Congradulations to Raúl and everyone who has supported him in chasing the dream. You can watch a replay of the final round and the announcement here: http://new.livestream.com/worldcoffee/WBC2012finals
May 31, 2012: A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to interview Raúl Rodas. Raul is going to be representing Guatemala this week in the World Barista Championship in Vienna. He is a four time National Champion and was in 2nd place in 2010. Café Saúl was nice enough to set up the interview for me and shared about their new award winning coffee.
(UPDATE: Raúl has qualified for the semifinals)
This coffee is from Finca el Injerto, winner of the Cup of Excellence COE Guatemala 2012.
With 6 years experience he’s traveled the world with consulting work and giving training to other baristas. He gave us a few great tips to make great coffee at home.
The first step is to buy fresh coffee. Look for a coffee that is whole grain since the moment you grind it, it starts oxidizing losing its freshness and aroma. You will know the coffee is fresh because it’s not shiny. As coffee ages the oils start to creep to the surface and give it a shiny and oily appearance.
Second is to grind the coffee no more than five minutes before using so that it’s still as fresh and aromatic as possible. Second is to not let the coffee sit for more than 15 minutes. There’s nothing worse than spending all that time and effort making a great coffee to just have it go stale before drinking it.
When it comes to storage, go for a cool and dark place where it won’t absorb any unpleasant aromas. Since coffee does tend to absorb aromas that are around it, you can take advantage if it to instill it with different aromas!