Dutch English
31 maart - 02 april 2022 / Westergas
18 februari 2015
This is what we won - Dutch Coffee Competition Report by Stijn Braas
Guest blogger Stijn Braas, Captain at CoffeeCompany Oosterdok and Coffee Communicator, shows that it's not always about winning when competing in barista championships...
Guest blogger Stijn Braas, Captain at CoffeeCompany Oosterdok and Coffee Communicator, shows that it's not always about winning when competing in barista championships...

This is us. Just moments before we stepped into our rental van, we decided to take a picture of the last time we were to leave the training facility and end the lives we had been living the 5 months prior.

We just pulled the last test shots, finalized cupping notes and recounted every little thing. We competed in the Dutch Barista Championship this year, and this was the day.


Obsessive about every detail

It is a silly exercise really, training for a barista championship. You have to be obsessive about every detail, while not forgetting the big picture. It demands full attention. There is just one way of competing and be rewarding: having the will to win. And, boy, did we want to win.

I myself was never to be on stage and act like they did, but in my role as coach I had the opportunity to win by proxy. With Keng Pereira & Ka-Tjun Hau this year, we were sure we had a shot.
 

All for nothing?

We didn’t win. “Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.” For weeks, I resented the fact we lost. As much of an achievement a 2nd, 3rd and debuting prize for them was, as little it seemed to me. It begged the question: was it all for nothing?
 

Nothing could teach me more about coffee and people

But soon I realized: we may not have won, but we didn’t lose entirely either. There probably is nothing I could have done in my career that would teach me more about coffee and people. But maybe more importantly: I would never have gained such great friends and have one of the best times of my life at the same time.
 
This is what we won.
 
Stijn Braas is Captain at CoffeeCompany Oosterdok and Coffee Communicator. He is communication manager for SCAE Netherlands.
More Stijn: All out of coffee

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