* chicago’s mike phillips, who seemed to be the one american with an actual probability of winning the world barista championship, ended up third by the skin of his teeth but still managed to capture all sorts of adoring hyperbole from the attendant insiders. did you know, for example, that the sun occasionally emanates from his forehead? or that he brews espresso into his bare hands, causes competition judges to lapse into doe-eyed daydreams and looks equally good lolling about with white ear flowers and cutie barista females? you get the idea. for all the raving this blog heard, though, it was often more about mike’s technical wizardry (stunning, ’tis true) than things people had tasted. we had some shots of mike’s rwandan spro, from another barista at the intelly booth. it was … balanced. red fruits and earthen walnuts. we did not, it should be noted, gaze in wonderment like the judge above.
* now-former world champion stephen morrissey walked out of the pounding, chockablock “wedding” “reception” for those globetrotting newlywed barista zombies and cursed cheerfully in this blog’s face about the teeming nature of the crowd. then he spotted the blogdaughter, clinging shyly to our left hamstring. he covered his mouth, widened his eyes, and apologized profusely. but really. it was no problem. when we got in the car later that night, this blog simply told its progeny, “don’t listen that that Bad Man. he’s from SCOTLAND.”
* ben helfen is a t-shirt junkie like you love your grandma. came helfen, trotting across the vast slab of intermediate convention space all a-grin about all kinds of t-shirt meta-humor. see, the current ireland barista champ, apparently, disagrees with the now-former ireland barista champ, whose snobby comment about espresso spawned its own ironic, ben helfen-promoted t-shirt. thus the referential, inside-joke spin-off uber-tee! and if that sort of random linky irony isn’t obscure enough for you, there was also the slayer espresso machine tee. graffiti paint over vintage batman logo. so random! so cool!
which, we suppose, puts helfen in the decidedly pro-slayer camp when it comes to this new machine. other seasoned barista competitor persons from norway = decidedly unimpressed.
* korean finalist lee jong hoon, having captured the quailing hearts of c-n-c‘s shannon and his korean wife youngwha, was clearly feeling the weight of expected glory shortly before his final routine, pacing back and forth as he did before the gaping restroom depot. the distraction of his fans, however, conveniently allowed this blog to become youngwha for convention floor-pass purposes while the korean flag-wavers did their effervescent best stageside.
* swedish cowboy barista fan club. it does, apparently, exist.