Alpenbarista – the height of barista craftsmanship
Coffee at its peak
Today, the Dallmayr Barista Jam is something of a cult event – both on the coffee scene and beyond. In short, the Barista Jam sees the world’s best baristas face one another in a variety of disciplines. It’s a battle for the perfect latte art design, the fastest cappuccino order, and the finest filter coffee. Fame and honour await the winner – as does big prize money and a prestigious title. Each year, Dallmayr stages the Barista Jam in a special setting. In 2019, that setting was the top of Germany’s Zugspitze mountain for the Alpenbarista.
The Zugspitze: a spectacular location presents a special challenge
In May 2019, 15 internationally renowned baristas, an expert jury and 400 guests reached brand new heights. The coffee lovers took a cable car to Germany’s highest restaurant – located at an altitude of almost 3,000 metres.
While guests could relax and enjoy the uninterrupted views, the baristas at “Panorama 2962” were working up quite a sweat. After all, the pressure at 3,000 metres is very different to what it is at sea level. As a result, the portafilter espresso machines had to be set up a lot differently than usual – which, despite their numerous titles, presented a completely new challenge for the 15 baristas.
Not surprisingly, however, it was an obstacle that the world’s best baristas were able to overcome: setting up the machines simply took longer than back home.
Hard-fought barista battles with the very best
Over the course of four hours, the pros showed the four-member jury everything the coffee bean has to offer. The jury – which included coffee superstars Gwilym Davies and Philipp Mayr – was as critical and ruthless as ever.
The contest kicked off with a classic “order round” consisting of espresso, flat white, cappuccino, caffè latte with recognisable latte art, and two drip-coffee beverages. Any drink without latte art, or any cup with signs of spillage, was immediately rejected by the jury.
For the quarter-finals, baristas had to prepare two espressos, two flat whites and a signature drink – each with an exclusive special roast that Dallmayr had created for the occasion. The grinders had not been set beforehand. The best four baristas progressed to the “cupping” semi-final. Here, participants had to demonstrate their expertise in tasting and assessing single-origin coffees from four different countries.
2018 World Barista Champion Agnieszka Rojewska (pictured on the left) and latte-art champion Yuri Marschall kept a cool head in front of the jury and made it to the final. This last stage went down to the wire, but in the end it was Rojewska who came out on top, and the 31-year-old from Poland secured the coveted title of Alpenbarista 2019. Joint third place went to Andrea Cremone and Swiss barista Gap Gijtipong Thangsubutr (pictured above).
Outstanding scenery, top-quality coffee in the Alps
The Alpenbarista was one of the highlights of the coffee calendar – for both the guests and the participants. There were plenty of magical moments – not only at the portafilter espresso machine, but also thanks to the stunning sunset and spectacular backdrop.
One thing’s for sure: five years after its launch, it is now almost impossible to imagine today’s barista scene without the annual Barista Jam.
You’ll find a lot more pictures, winners and highlights from past Barista Jams here: Barista Jam.