Qualifiers last Friday was a blast. A record 52 competitors, lots of fans, tasty drinks and good vibes. 

18 of them will be going to the Finals next Friday, 21st of September, at Caffenation Pakt. 

- In this Finals we have 9 battles one against one. First one starts 20h.

- Semi Finals: Winners of the first 3 duels competing against one another, and so on...

- One big Final with the 3 left over competitors. Tadaaa! Expected finish around 23:15h.

Here the list and some side comments from your Master of Ceremony:

1st Duel: Michiel (independent/non professional): One of the surprises of last Friday. Trained by his girlfriend Sofie, who learned him the tricks. Although the lack of experience could be working in his disadvantage. 35% chance. 

Lotte (Caffenation): Lotte won her first Coffee Championship at the age of 18! Since then she won several Latte Art contests and working the last 12 months at Caffenation Pakt, show casing a lot of talent. Chances of going to the Semi finals: 65%.

2nd Duel: Jurgen (independent/non professional): Pressed some great coffees in the past, but wasn't always very lucky. Great result last week, but the competition is fierce. Chances to advance: 40%.

Doug (Mok): This Englishman, coming form Colonna UK, is new on the scene, but what a Barista! Going with a crazy high temperature and Speedy Gonzales fast, his cup was one of the best of the night. Chances: 60%.

3rd Duel: Francois (Cafe Capitale): Experienced and very well trained, his routine looked like a walk in the park. Will he finally advance to his first Final? Francois has been a bit unlucky with the draw i think. Chances: 45%.

Sofie (Caffenation): Only Caffenation 'veteran' going through to the last 18. Had great acidity and a very clean cup last Friday. Could these typical Kenya flavors help her to advance? This duel is going to be the top bill of the first round! So everybody pushing for the front row by 9:45h. Sofie her chances: 55%.

4th Duel: Audeline (Mok): Championship rookie, but this didn't show. Nice balanced cup in style. Chances of going to the Semi Finals: 50%

Nanigui (Caffenation): Same story here. Very sweet cup and a very stylish act by Caffenation best all rounder Barista/Cook/You-name-it. So split chances in this fight.

5th Duel: Nick (Butchers): New kid on the block. This multi-talented guy looked surprisingly cool for a rookie. Very dedicated and ready for more. Chances to advance: 55%.

Silke (Caffenation): Those Caffenation girls! Part time Barista but very driven; bean picking more than one hour for the perfect portion of beans, and this paid off. The nerves were almost killing her, but Silke survived and conquered. 45% chance to reach the next round. 

6th Duel: Bram (Butchers). As with Mok and Caffenation, it is the rookies who were pressing best. Great performance and very nice flavors, but the competition is tough. 35%. 

Phil (Independant/non-professional): Is Phil the best trained home barista on earth? At least he looks like it. The Vice Champ of 2017 is ready for more this year. Who's going to stop this man? Chances: 65%.

7th Duel: Giel (Caffenation): Barista since December 17, this man learns fast. Very precise hands, good taste buds and lots of training showed off. Some people called this one of the best cups of the eve. If he can keep this level he has a 65% chance to advance to the last 9. 

Steffen (Brander): Roaster and Barista of a company called 'Brander' is new on the scene. He was a little lucky with the draw in the first round and now faces a real challenge. Will his motivation, hard work and self believe help him to be the big surprise tonight? Maybe, but first he needs to pass by Giel, so only a 35% chance to advance to the Semi's, i'm afraid. 

8th Duel: Elliot (Cafune): One of the best new comers on the scene. Made his fame with opening his Specialty Bar in Bruges, is now facing the top favourite. Less experience, but the funniest thing is the taste of his cup last Friday, being very very close in taste to Charlene's. Looks like this could be a tough nut to crack for the judges. 40% chances to win the duel. 

Charlene (Way): Winner of the first Belgian Championship 6 years ago and former World Champion, Charlene is the lady to beat. And she doesn't mind to carry this weight. Razor sharp taste buds, great dedication and ton loads of experience should get Charlene past her component. 60% for her. 

9th and last Duel: Mangoo (Cuperus): The first Aeropresser ever making a cup of noodles and a winning Aeropress at the same time. Former Barista Champion, coffee roaster and latte art expert is now on his way for Aeropress fame. The question is: who's going to stop this man? I expect Mangoo to at least pass by this first hurdle on his way to more. 60% chance to advance to the Semi's. 

Thomas (Mr Bean): Another Barista from Leuven, beating both Scarlett and Sam last Friday! Is Thomas going for a new surprise this week? Why not; he's dedicated and well trained and this shows in the cup. Tough competition though, so i can't give him more than a 40% chance for survival. 

Note for the editor: Don't take these predictions too serious. I just want to get everybody pumped up and ready for the biggest coffee show in Belgium. And the right winner to represent our country at the World Aeropress Championship in Sydney Australia, in 2 months. 

Judges: Aurelie (32 cup), Kiona (Crusio) and Cerianne (Trabocca).

Coffee: Kenya Nyeri RUTHAGATI AB roasted by Jeff Verellen. 

Let's get ready to rumble!!!

Your host for the finals,

Roberto Bergami. 

 

 

September 18, 2018 by Robrecht Berghmans