Drop Coffee’s Matt Winton just place 8th in the World Barista Championship in Amsterdam. This is the second best placing Sweden ever done in the competition.
Matt has only been in coffee for 2 years. He used to be a flight engineer and have a great understanding of brewing technology and a talent for coffee. If you have met him you can tell from his charisma that he is born to be onstage.
The presentation was built on the multi-sensory world focusing on how the other senses impact the perception of flavours in coffee. By using touch, sight and sound he guided the judges though the milk beverage, espresso drinks and signature beverage, highlighting the different aspects of the coffee.
Four times Drop Coffee have had the privilege to represent Sweden in the World Barista Championships. But never have we previously made semifinals (top 16) and this is the best position Sweden have done since Daniel Remheden placed 4th in 2008.
To compete in an international competition requires a lot of training. We decided early on to invest in a competition prepped Victoria Arduino three group espresso machine and got a sponsorship from Hermelin on the grinder used in the competition. He picked a coffee that we buy a lot of (divided into individual day lots) and could truly get to know inside out. Matt did a total of 50 run-throughs before the competition.
Fabiana Carvanaho from The Coffee Sensorium has been a great support in supplying us with data and research about studies made about multi-sensory, including her own on flavour and colours.
Petsie Williams, experienced World Barista Championship coach and the most creative person, has helped with the signature beverage, how to present the concept and script.
Team Switzerland, third place in WBC 2018 and also Matt’s previous employer, Mathieu Theis and Emi Fukahori have helped us along the road, bouncing ideas and giving support.
I also roasted the coffee for the Colombian Barista Champion (placing third in this years WBC), Ronald Valero and had them over the weekend before the completion and we worked very much as a team for both Matt and Ronald. From Team Colombia we got Raul Rodaz is a previous WBC Champion from Guatemala helping us with the presentation and the WBC experienced judge from Brazil we had Danilo Lado who was helped us with rules and flavour descriptors in beforehand and during our practice time in Amsterdam.
Our Pascal based friend Pierre spent the first few days of his vacation to help us polish glasses and writing checklists on sight.
All those people are absolute rocks and we are so grateful for your contribution. On to of that we have sponsorships from Hermelin, Eva Solo, Ona Coffee, Pullman Espresso, Saint Anthony Industries and Sigg Switzerland.
I am so proud of Matt I could explode. His creative mind and talent. I hope Matt’s placing is incurring more baristas to compete in the nationals in the Nordic countries. Competition is hard work, time and it is all worth it. Through competition, we build contacts across the borders and incurring each other to improve and reflect.
Good job, Matt!