Aymon McQuade's Coffee Travels

Aymon was the second place getter in the 2011 final of the Huhtamaki New Zealand Barista Championship, after coming oh so close to the prize of a trip to Bogota to compete at the WBC Aymon took it upon himself to get there no matter what! Here’s a breif summary of what he got up to: For more on his travels check out his blog  http://coffeeloco.wordpress.com/
Well, I’ve been back now for 3 weeks, and still I feel my feet haven’t yet touched the ground. This trip, which has taken me through the coffee growing regions of El Salvador and to the WBC in Colombia, was more than I’d ever hoped for.
I went as an open book.  I toured around multiple farms and mills and introduced to some wonderful people, who shared my enthusiasm and passion for coffee.
I learned everything from where and how plants were grown, the latest pruning techniques, hybrid varieties mitigating leaf rust, wet milling, dry milling, exportation and numerous other elements of coffee pre roasting. Fascinating given so much of my time in NZ is focused on the post export process.
The WBC? What a show! I was in the privileged position of being a calibration barista for the WBC judges. I performed my routine no less than 6 times in a row. I took away some fantastic feedback to improve my future performances, and I had the pleasure of getting to know the judges personally – box seat! The comp itself was awe-inspiring; the level of talent on show was impressive to say the least. The atmosphere, with a vocal local crowd was just electrifying… una fiesta loca para todas. I’ll be in Vienna next year for sure!