Last week, I went over to Ulsteinvik to have a chat with Kari Janne Andersen, proprietor of Kaffikari coffee bar & kitchen and got some excellent coffee/espresso as well (her espresso is among the very best I've had). I wanted to know a bit about this years Norwegian barista championships which are held in Kaffikari's hometown, Ulsteinvik. More about the other competitions below, but first a few thoughts by Kari on the upcoming competitions and what makes this year's event different.
fooducation: What are your thoughts about reaching a larger audience through this year's competitions. Is that a goal? Why?
Kari: Previous years, the competition has been held in rather secluded places; the offices of a producer in an industrial area, inside the Norwegian gastronomic institute and such places. One of the unique features about this year's competition is that it is held in an open venue which invites a non-specialist public in a whole new way.
fooducation: Was this your idea, or...?
Kari: The initiative is thanks to the Norwegian branch of SCAE, Speciality Coffee Association of Europe. SCAE is responsible for the competitions, we are the hosts and were fortunate to attract the interest from SCAE and that way were able to get the championships here.
fooducation: What's special about the place Ulsteinvik?
Kari: There are some practical/logistic benefits because it's easy to get here by plane. Also, there's just a short walk between the coffee bar and the hotel (venue for the competitions and lectures). It's got both the benefits of being somewhat rural but at the same time being urban.