Counting Down To Boston WCC 2019 April 01 2019

Today, 1 April 2019, marks 10 days to the start of the World Coffee Championships (WCC) at the Specialty Coffee Expo at Boston’s Convention and Exhibition Center. From 11-14 April the best of the world’s baristas and brewers will be going head to head to determine who will wear the coveted title of the World’s Best. South Africa’s champion Harry Mole, from TriBeCa Coffee, amazed us at SCASA’s Nationals in February and will be giving his all when he represents South Africa along with another estimated 100 international competitors for four days of fierce competition. The World Coffee Championships are annual events that are the culmination of local and regional events, hosted by over sixty sanctioned National Bodies globally.
Competitors in the World Barista Championship prepare four espressos, four milk drinks, and four original signature drinks to exacting standards in 15 minutes. While progressing through the main championship, competitors simultaneously participate in the WBC Teams Competition - rewarding group support and collaboration. Our Harry has been pooled along with competitors from USA, Switzerland, Poland, Iceland and Azerbaijan to form Team Espresso.
Fans will be able to follow Harry’s performance at WCC via LIVE stream HERE. His preliminary set will be on Thursday 11 April at 17:58 (SA Time).

SCASA sat down with him one final time before he departs for the United States.  
You’re (almost) in the final stretch now, with days left before the World Barista Championship, how is preparations going for Boston?
It's been such a great experience with all the support from our coffee community and from our team at TriBeCa Coffee! Alessandro from Morrico Imports has graciously loaned me the beautiful Black Eagle; The Ultimate Water team has installed a sponsored water filtration system to ensure we have the correct water specifications for WBC. My TriBeCa team (John, Matt and Tiny) as well as Ishan Natalie, have been watching my practice sets, mentoring, coaching and helping with invaluable feedback and my Director, Martin Fitzgerald, has been absolutely amazing – building a WBC setup and helping with new set pieces and financial support for the trip and equipment needed.

You're leaving on the 5th of April, have you decided what creature comforts will you be taking with you to the States?
Yes, we’ll be flying on April 5th, arriving a few days earlier to acclimatize and prepare signature ingredients and test the various milks available in the Boston area. I’m a sucker for Sour Jelly Tots, so that’s totally in my backpack at all times haha…

What extra magic can we expect from Harry Mole at the World Coffee Championship? Have you been working on a new set, reengineering an old one, or is it a surprise?
Surprisingly my nationals coffee was tasting amazing when compared to a few great options we got in; so I’m working on a similar setup but introducing a few new elements to the signature drink as well as new set pieces and crockery! John Evans from Asmara Coffee is playing with the various roasting options so we can serve the best possible coffee depending on the climate in Boston.

Have you thought about who are you looking forward to seeing and meeting in Boston?
The other WBC competitors! Would love to connect and make new coffee friendships; also looking forward to meeting the team from Black & White Coffee (Lem Butler and Kyle Ramage) and the team from Counter Culture who has opened up a practice session for me in their training space.

Tell us a bit more about your coaches and what have they been helping you with?
John Evans is my coach and roaster who will support and travel along with me to WBC. Matthew Carter assisted with sourcing our coffee; as well as Ishan Natalie who’s been giving me great advice and feedback. They are all phenomenal friendships contributing to many factors and with invaluable support and feedback – also listening to me set after set and not getting bored haha…

As you know anything can happen on the day, but what would you do if you won the World Barista Championship?
First thing I would do is high five John Evans has hard as humanly possible, bring home that fancy trophy and have a solid braai...

The best advice received thus far going into a competition of this magnitude?
Beside the coffee, setups, logistics and choices to make on stage; probably the best advice I have received is to be who I am and stick with my gut.

The best of luck Harry, South Africa is behind you! Any message you would like to give to your supporters?
I am so grateful for everyone’s support and input, keep being the beautiful people you are, bettering coffee and connections we share. Also get yourselves a small gas burner to drink coffee in the morning with these weird power vibes happening... 😊