On Monday night JJ Bean held part 1 of their in house competitions to see who will be representing them in the competitions. My brother John and I were asked to be technical judges, an offer we of course accepted.
We arrived an hour early at Yaletown to get the low-down on how the judging works and what to look for. Aaron DeLazzer from ethical bean was the honorary head judge as well as a sensory judge, with John Neate, Peter, and Murray as the other 3 sensory judges. Angie, my brother and myself were the technicals. I would judge this week, and John the next, as only 2 technical judges are needed at a time. While Aaron gave us the lowdown on everything, all the competitors started practicing and spectators galore piled into the cafe.
As a judge, and seeing as there is still another night of competing to go on, I can’t talk about the actual performances, but it was definitely fun to watch. I couldn’t believe how fast things happened at first – Hence the need for 2 judges.
One thing that I thought was most interesting to watch was how each barista handled being in the spotlight with the pressure on them. Some didn’t seem too affected by it, making jokes the whole way through. Others went through their routine in silence, nervously pouring art in the capps. For some, the pressure was a bit too much in the end. Either way – you really don’t know how you’re going to perform until you actually get up there and do it – bravo to those who did.
I am interested to see how next weeks competitors react to the night. I’m sure at least a few of them will revamp their presentation, as they have the advantageous knowledge of what they need to do to make it through.
Round 2 draws near… you’ll know it went when we do.