So in all honesty it’s probably Damian’s fault. It was about 9 years ago and I was half way through an interview for a part time job in one of Dublin’s cafes when he stuck his head round the door and asked if I wanted a coffee. I said I didn’t really like coffee, he smiled, “You will…”
All these years later I dropped in to Circus, a shop that he now co-owns, to catch up and tell him about the upcoming IBC. It’s a serious business this competition, and every aspect of the performance is taken into consideration, including style.
Now, style has never really been my thing. I’m the one who dragged the 7 inch curly fringe into fashion, on my own I might add, and introduced the cycling-shorts-and-shoes combo to the streets of Dublin. Have a moment to think about that.
Trawling through the various videos of barista performances I became more and more obvious that I needed some help. There is only a point offered for wearing appropriate apparel but the “Overall Impression” of the judges is worth 96 points, so there has to be a few scores available there for looking the part.
The trend has been slowly moving away from the waiter-esque uniforms that Baristas used to compete in, towards a more contemporary and styled appearance. Not only is this an important aspect with regard to scoring as highly as possible, but it’s always easier to address a crowd when you look and feel the part.
Last year’s winner Stephen Morrissey took to the stage in jeans and a stylish shirt, that was later matched with a waist-coat after a slight staining in the semi finals. This I feel was a nice step forward for the WBC and makes it a bit more Barista focused and ensures that we as a profession are seen as just that, professionals, and not just guys and gals plodding through a regular job.
So after bribing him with copious amounts of tasty beans, Damian and his partner Fiona have agreed to point me in the right direction when it comes to choosing the right frock for the ball. Well, its kinda his fault in the first place…