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Hosted by Cafe Show, the world-class trade show for Coffee industry held from 9 to 12 Nov., 2017


Barista champions from 60+ nations are coming to Seoul in 2017 to compete for the title of “World Barista Champion.” This coveted title can be a pathway to global coffee fame, with the competition, now in its 18th year, crowning champions like 2003 champion Paul Bassett, and 2004 champion Tim Wendelboe, both of whom now have world-renowned coffee businesses bearing their names. At the World Barista Championship (WBC), the competitors will give intricately detailed, exhaustively rehearsed stage presentations. They will serve straight espresso, espresso and milk, and wildly inventive signature espresso beverages to a panel of judges. This will take place live, November 9-12, on an arena stage built by competition host Cafe Show Seoul, where the biggest trade show for coffee and café industry is opening. Over 140,000 expected visitors will able to watch three intense rounds of competition onsite, joining more than 120k online viewers from 140+ countries that will tune into the livestream of the event.


The WBC is returning to Asia for the first time since 2007, thanks to years of planning and support with host partner CafeShow and members of the Korean coffee community. In that past decade, the Specialty Coffee world has exploded globally, and the world of competitions along with it. What began as a small competition primarily amongst Denmark, Norway, and a few other Nordic countries, has expanded into a global network of 60+ sanctioned national bodies putting on yearly championships & regional qualifying events, sometimes for fields of 100+ competitors. This global enthusiasm has fueled an incredible exchange of ideas, flavors, and aesthetics between coffee people, helping drive a world-wide passion for quality coffee, made by baristas, delivered with service and care and knowledge.


The world of barista competition has become something of a global obsession for coffee people, and has gained mainstream interest through news coverage, and award winning documentaries like “Barista” and “The Coffee Man.” Even placing highly in the finals of the competition can be enough to turn a nationally-renowned coffee expert into a global coffee phenomenon. In Seattle in 2015, Charles Babinski, a well-regarded veteran of coffee retail and coffee competitions in the United States, placed second, bringing even greater acclaim to the celebrated cafes G&B and Go Get Em Tiger that he co-founded, and helping launch global engagements like the Cold Brew by Babinski line in Asia.


Korea is one of the world’s most dynamic and exciting coffee markets, and there is already strong reception and excitement from the industry and fans in Korea. Twenty or more 2017 sponsor partners, from multi-national corporations, to small local coffee roasters will join together to help make this gathering of the global coffee community a reality. Watch all the excitement in person at CafeShow, or tune into http://worldbaristachampionship.org for English-language live streaming, and to http://coffeetv.co.kr for Korean-language streaming coverage.