The First National Barista Championship of Colombia took place during the “Alimentec” fair in August 2006 with the sponsorship of the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia (Federacafe), ACDI/VOCA, the roasting firm Amor Perfecto, Catering Magazine and other entities. This important competition was developed according to the World Barista Championship’s (WBC) technical norms and has contributed to the coffee industry by increasing domestic awareness of high-quality, specialty and gourmet coffee, promoting coffee shops and cafés, and boosting the status of baristas in Colombia. ACDI/VOCA organized various activities related to the competition through the USAID-funded Colombian Specialty Coffee Program.
Thirty-four baristas from different companies of the country’s coffee industry participated for three days of elimination, resulting in six finalists and three winners. A barista from Tiendas Juan Valdez won first place and two baristas from Amor Perfecto won second and third place. There were about 2,000 people at the event who learned about baristas, the preparation of espressos, cappuccinos, and other coffee drinks, and the rules of the competition.
Working with the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI), ACDI/VOCA contributed two international volunteers in the preparation phase and during the event. The first volunteer was José Arreola, WBC technical coordinator for Latin America, who trained Colombian professionals to be judges for the event. The second volunteer was Roukiat Delrue, a WBC representative who was an adviser at the event and lead judge of the Colombian barista team of judges.