We’ve been fans of this special barista championship in Spain for several years now—ever since we found out it was going on. Founded and organized by the Asturias, Spain-based company, Cafento, the most recent Spanish Down Barista Championship included a whopping 47 participants.
The fourth such competition to take place in 2014, the Galician Down Barista Championship once again brought together baristas with Down syndrome to train with top Spanish baristas for a week before the competition. Trainers from Escuela Cafento—which is Cafento’s school—worked with the 47 participants on espresso and milk techniques, bar etiquette, and drink preparation. The winners of each competition—the Galician follows the Andalusia, Asutrias, and Murcia competitions held earlier this year—winners are invited to work at some of the best local hotels and restaurants.
The competition itself unfolds as follows: Baristas are divided into teams, and teams prepare two espressos, two cappuccinos with latte art, and two coffee cocktails for a panel of judges. Every step of the process must be explained to the public and the judges by the team’s designated speaker.
“We would love this initiative to spread to other countries and companies in the industry,” says Tiago Lemos of Cafento. “We will gladly share our experience with anyone interested.”
To watch an example of this very unique and exciting competition, check out this video: