Big things are happening in St. Thomas as the city prepares for the 2020 BC Eastern Qualifier, that will be held in the historic CASO Station. Maria Fiallos of Las Chicas Del Cafe and Streamliners Espresso Bar spearheaded the effort to bring this exciting event to St. Thomas. And it took a lot of effort – a Qualifying round has never taken place outside a major city like Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver, so Maria had to campaign for St. Thomas as an ideal location.
Hosted by Las Chicas Del Cafe and community partners, this will be a monumental event for the region and for the Canadian Chapter of the SCA. Maria has organized an entire weekend surrounding the event - with dinners, keynote speakers, throw-downs, transportation, accommodation and activities all taken into consideration. The competition - nicknamed ‘Steam’ - will be open to the public for viewing.
We’ve pieced together everything you need to know about this exciting event coming to St. Thomas from September 8-10th.
What is a Barista Competition?
It’s an annual event that brings talented, both old and new, baristas together to showcase their skills, amazing coffee and innovative practices. It is a nerve-wracking experience for the baristas participating in the competition. They have to focus on producing amazing-tasting, well-extracted, perfectly balanced espresso-based drinks that hit all of the sensory marks, under intense scrutiny, while delivering a confident and engaging presentation, keeping their work space clean, and meeting industry standards of professionalism, all within a strict fifteen-minute time limit.
Barista competitions have played an important role in the coffee community for several reasons. Firstly, they serve as a place where like-minded specialty coffee enthusiasts can come together to share knowledge about specialty coffee, ask questions, meet new people, and make connections in the coffee industry.
Secondly, competitions encourage innovation and promote new developments in specialty coffee. Coffees are sourced from the very best producers around the world and are chosen for the competition with quality in mind. Participants are often sponsored by coffee roasters who meticulously develop roast profiles to highlight the unique characteristics of the coffees. Baristas use cutting-edge brew methods and often develop new and exciting drinks while pushing their technical skills to new levels of perfection.
Specialty Coffee Association
The Specialty Coffee Association is built on foundations of openness, inclusivity and the power of shared knowledge, we act as a unifying force within the Specialty Coffee industry – invested in creating a worldwide circle of like-minded professionals.
Unified but not uniform, we celebrate and nurture diversity. We understand the importance of local knowledge and strive to connect every individual with the resources to improve their opportunities and make their voices heard on a global stage.
Representing a global pool of experience and talent, we are our members and together we work towards a better, more sustainable future for each and every one of us – wherever in the world we are.
Canadian Chapter of the SCA
The Canadian Chapter of the Specialty Coffee Association is a National Chapter of the SCA. We are registered as a non-profit organization in Alberta. The National Coordinators are considered to be ‘board members’ of the organization and are elected by the membership every two years in May. There is limited oversight from the SCA in terms of governing the way each country’s chapter is run. This allows the Canadian Chapter to represent Canadian members in the most flexible and nimble way possible. We are here to #makecoffeebetter.
Sunday September 8
Monday September 9 - Competition Day 1
Tuesday September 10 - Competition Day 2
It is not down in any map; true places never are.