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World Barista Champion is Passionate about Coffee Origin

Medellin, October 4, 2014 (FNC Press)- Baristas are professionals who work with high quality coffees, preparing espresso-based drinks and using various types of ingredients to innovate. They strive to present their coffees in new ways and can complement their work with “latte art” (shapes). The barista phenomenon has been steadily consolidating itself in the world market, influencing the innovation and development of specialty coffees in all continents.

Hidenori Izaki, Japan Barista Champion in 2012 and World Barista Champion in 2014, is passionate about deeply understanding the origin of the coffee he works with. As he admits, this is essential for highlighting the intrinsic qualities of coffee during preparation. According to Mr. Izaki, “Passion is what motivates you to go forward and to be creative. My passion is origin. I like being close to the producer.”

Mr. Izaki presented the “How to Prepare a Barista Champion” conference at ExpoEspeciales 2014, which took place in the Green Pavilion of the International Convention Center Plaza Mayor of Medellin. He acknowledged the work of those who contributed to his success including producers, buyers, consumers who pay good prices for coffee and those who invested in his training.

During the world competition, Mr. Izaki was interested in transmitting to the judges the importance he gave to the connection between origin and the final drink. "It is crucial to understand the varieties, the farm and the production conditions. You can then use all this information to enhance the cup. It is always a learning process. It is very important to transmit ideas to the drink," he explained.

The Japanese barista also highlighted the importance of being aware of the roasting and brewing variables that influence the drink’s final attributes. “By experimenting with them, by making them vary beyond ordinary, you can produce unique beverages of great cup.” 

Mr. Izaki’s holistic interpretation of the production process (from the origin to the cup) has had a crucial role in his success as a barista.

Izaki and the FNC

 Before coming to ExpoEspeciales 2014, Mr. Izaki visited Café de Colombia’s stand in the 2014 Japan´s Specialty Coffee Conference and Exhibition (SCAJ). He highlighted the quality of Colombian coffee and the efforts of the FNC and its specialty coffees program. The SCAJ Conference, which is considered Asia’s largest coffee exhibition, took place between September 24th and 26th in Tokyo.

In 2013, when the FNC organized a trip to Colombia’s coffee growing regions as part of the development of the Coffee Hub project (www.colombiancoffeehub.org), Mr. Izaki was able to experience the different origins of Colombian coffee. At the time, Mr. Izaki had won the Japan Barista Championship.  These initiatives are part of the FNC’s value added and differentiation strategy that seek to promote Colombian coffee in the market’s most sophisticated segments.

"Thanks to the FNC, I had the possibility of visiting Colombia and witnessing the institution’s outstanding efforts to promote the production and commercialization of Colombian specialty coffees to benefit coffee growers,” stated Mr. Izaki.

About ExpoEspeciales 2014

 The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) organizes ExpoEspeciales as part of its value added strategy to promote and provide visibility to the production of high quality coffees from different Colombian coffee growing regions. The event is an attractive scenario for consumers, buyers and professionals of the coffee growing industry from different continents.

ExpoEspeciales 2014 is supported by the Antioquia Origin of Specialty Coffees Program, which resulted of an agreement between the FNC, the Western Coffee Grower Cooperative, and the Coffee Grower Cooperatives from the Andes, Antioquia and Salgar.

The event takes place annually in different Colombian cities. It integrates the coffee value chain and brings together producers, traders, visitors and coffee lovers in one same space.

Besides being a showcase for coffees from different Colombian regions, the event is a propitious scenario for displaying the coffee industry’s trends and innovations in the domestic and international arena. ExpoEspeciales favors the exchange of knowledge and commercial, cultural and academic experiences among its attendees. It has become Latin America’s preferred event for establishing business relations in an environment that strengthens and stimulates the coffee industry.

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