Diego Campos of Colombia crowned World Barista Champion


Diego Campos of Colombia has been crowned the 2021 World Barista Champion.

Andrea Allen of the United States was Runner Up, Hugh Kelly of Ona Coffee and Australia placed third, Emi Fukahori of Switzerland placed fourth, Martin Shabaya of Kenya placed fifth, and Wojciech Tyler of Ireland placed sixth.

Diego of Amor Perfecto dropped to his knees with the announcement made, draping the Colombian flag over his shoulders as he told the crowd, “I can’t believe this. This is for my country. I love my country. This is for you Colombia”.

Diego is the first Colombian barista to make the World Barista Championship (WBC) final round.

Federico Bolanos coached Diego, who also trained the 2019 World Barista Champion Jooyeon Jeon of South Korea.

For his routine, Diego complemented his coffee from Finca Inmaculada with multi-sensory stimulation to enhance the tasting experience.

Diego is the first Colombian barista to make the World Barista Championships final round.

Diego says his coffee, rescued from a genetics lab, was the “most surprising and fascinating coffee” he had ever tasted, produced at Finca Las Nubes at 2000 metre above sea level with the high altitude slowing down the ripening of the cherries for a greater concentration of sugars, lipids and organic acids. “This makes the coffee taste phenomenal, with an unbeliever sweetness and mouthfeel, juicy acidity and tropical fruit flavours,” Diego noted in his presentation.

This coffee had eight days of anaerobic fermentation, and was dried to 11 per cent over rotating red beds in a green house with fans to slow down the drying process.

For his espressos, Diego dosed 20 grams of coffee and pulled 48-gram shot with a set water temperature of 91°C – the same brewing parameters used for all his drink courses.

Before scoring his espresso, Diego asked the judges to put down their scoresheets and use the tablet provided to play a set of instructions to stimulate all senses. It asked them to smell the dry ice cloud, touch the sphere in the espresso which added a slippery texture, use headphones to amplify the sweetness in the cup, and taste the espresso. He highlighted tasting notes of sweetness like brown sugar, cacao nibs, passionfruit, papaya and tangerine with a hint of malt.

For his milk-based course, Diego used 3.5 per cent whole dairy milk produced in Italy, which was frozen to reduce water and increase sugars, proteins and fats for a more concentrated milk. It was heated at 50°C for sweetness.

He highlighted flavours of buttered cookies, nougat, caramel, almond, cocoa, and a creamy and fluffy mouthfeel like melted ice cream.

For his signature beverage, Diego added 12 grams of a frozen cherry reduction and 24 grams of a frozen pineapple and starfruit reduction to his cooled espresso. He homogenised the drink to mix all ingredients, and lastly added 12-hour infused cold brew for final tasting notes of cocoa nibs, ripe mango, sweet passionfruit, peach, sugar cane and blackberry sweetness.

“Our five senses allows us to experience the world around us and can improve what we enjoy, eat and drink. Let’s stimulate the sense of coffee consumers and elevate the experience of specialty coffee to be more special,” Diego said in his closing statement.

To watch performances on-demand, click here.

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