Barista Magazine

FEB-MAR 2014

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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sion hosted by Dalla Corte, which is the official espresso machine sponsor of both the World Latte Art Championship (WLAC) and the World Coffee In Good Spirits Championship (WCIGS). Dalla Corte debuted DC Campus in 2012—which was the first year of its sponsorship contract—for no reason other than to build momentum, provide competitors with concentrated practice time, and celebrate one another. All reigning national champs in the WLAC and WCIGS competitions—plus the top finishers in previous years— are invited to attend this special gathering. They have to figure out their own airfare and accommodation, but then meals, materials (coffee, alcohol, milk, equipment, etc.), training, and lectures are generously provided by Dalla Corte. Victor loved every minute of it. He trained hard during the daytime, and mixed drinks for his new friends at night. Participants were given scheduled practice times on the Dalla Corte machines, but Victor and a new friend, Vala Stefánsdóttir, the Icelandic Coffee in Good Spirits Champion, creatively decided to combine their times and help each other. It was one of many friendships Victor made in Milan. The Victor who appeared in Nice the very next month, however, was much more serious. "As in cycling competitions, I prepared for this championship with the physical training and diet to keep my energy and concentration until the last second," he says. Since DC Campus, Victor and Michael had been training around the clock at the Académie du Café, which is the spectacular training center of Cafés Richard, the largest and most established specialty-coffee roaster in France. As the company's head of production, Michael not only buys green coffee, judges at the World Barista Championship, the WLAC, and the WCIGS competitions, and oversees wholesale accounts at some of Paris' most famous cafés, but he's also the mastermind of the Académie du Café, a gorgeous, airy space filled with pristine espresso equipment, a full bar, an auditorium, a tea education salon, a large cupping room, and administrative offices. The bar at the Académie became home base for Michael and Victor during the weeks before the Championship. On the weekends, they worked at Michael's Paris apartment. "Victor is a pleasure to work with because he is capable of taking advice and then working on it until it is perfect," says Michael. "You don't have to stand next to Victor while he works. In fact, after being coached, he prefers to work alone and then present what he feels is his best improvement when he is ready. This is great and very rewarding for a coach because you see a true dedication and personal initiative, which are the signs of real passion. On top of that, he is humble." Michael was Victor's primary coach, but his training team also included Valerie Egele of Reneka, and Ronny Billemon, who works at Everpure/Pentair Water, and who placed third in the WCIGS in 2012. You put a lot of thought into the coffee and espresso you serve your customers—doesn't your "Everybody played their part perfectly chocolate deserve the same level of consideration? GoodDrinks™ Single Origin Ghana Dark and no detail was left unattended, from the Chocolate Sauce and Single Origin Peru Cocoa Powder are sourced from the purest cocoa roasting to the music, from the first judge's beans on the planet. Paired with your distinctive brews, it's pure drinking pleasure…hot or cold. sip to the last sniff of orange-perfumed smoke," says Victor. TO ORDER, CALL 800-877-3811, EXT. 115 "The Richard family and my team were GETGOODDRINKS.COM all so very proud," says Michael of Victor, who now works for Cafés Richard as a con- GOURMET COFFEE + SINGLE ORIGIN CHOCOLATE. LIKE TWO BEANS IN A POD. 56 barista magazine

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