It’s long been a bitch of mine that the standard of coffee on the street and in bars and restaurants in Ireland is utterly woeful. (If you’re in any doubt read the almost weekly rant in my restaurant reviews in The Herald!). Coffee Angel, with their distinctive Piaggio vans, are one of a few honourable exceptions to the general mediocrity.
Last week Coffee Angel’s man at CHQ, reigning Irish Barista Champion Colin Harmon, took an incredible 4th place in the 10th annual World Barista Championship held in Atlanta, GA last weekend.
Much of the impetus behind Colin’s superb effort is due to his mentor and employer, Coffee Angel’s Karl Purdy.
Karl, a forkncork.com forum contributor, a magnificent upholder of coffee standards and a really nice guy, is a former Irish Barista Champ himself. He also achieved the highest place ever by an Irish competitor in the World Championship up to two years ago.
Not content with this, Karl was heavily involved with the superhuman effort that powered Ireland’s ultimate coffee fanatic, Stephen Morrissey to world domination last year.
Colin, a relative newcomer to the world of speciality coffee and a complete
underdog at the start of this competition, amazed international judges and
the global audience by reaching the finals in his first year as a
professional barista. A former mutual fund manager in Dublin’s Docklands, left the world of high finance a little over a year ago to pursue a career in speciality
coffee with Coffee Angel.
In three days of preliminary round competition, each competitor served four
espressos, four cappuccinos and four signature drinks to exacting standards
in 15-minute performances before a panel of seven judges.
Competitors are judged on station cleanliness, beverage taste, presentation,
technical skills, coffee knowledge and overall judge’s impression. Colin’s
outstanding signature drink made with a winning combination of Morello
cherries, sea buckthorn sugar, seaweed, creme anglaise and a Bolivian single
Colin can be found pouring world class coffee at the Coffee Angel’s Custom
House Quay location in the Dublin Docklands, Monday to Friday.
National barista champions from 51 countries converged in Atlanta to compete
for the title of world’s best barista in front of a live and online audience
of thousands of viewers from around the world. A video of Colin’s performance can be found here