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The rapidly growing love for espresso and increasing number of cafes in the Balkan Region created the need for experts in coffee preparation. The word “barista” did not even exist in the local, Balkan languages just 10-15 years ago.
Currently, coffee distributors provide some training, but getting a quality training is a challenge.
National barista associations are in their infancy, even where they exist. There is a great deal of mistrust and without the honest corporate support, training and education is limited to individual enthusiasts.
Important focus of CoffeeFest in 2014 and 2015 was on training and education of baristas. Organizer Oivivio LLC worked our arrangements with coffee experts and progressive companies to provide free of charge basic training for over 150 junior baristas, and advanced training for over 50 baristas.
In 2015 Oivivio organized the first Serbia Open Coffee Championship that took place on September 25 in the CoffeeFest Arabica Hall. Brita Professional was the sponsor of the championship. Contestants had to prepare two espressos and two cappuccinos (latte art). Judges, Mr. Ivan Abramo and Ms. Biljana Kalajdžić, evaluated the flavor, expertise and performance of the contestants.
Judges at the Serbia Open 2015 Coffee Championship, Mr. Ivan Abramo and Ms. Biljana Kalajdžić
The winner, Mr. Nikola Stanojčić was awarded a trip to Trieste to a professional training with SCAE certificate organized in November 2015 by Bazzara company. We are proud that now Nikola ranks among the very few SCAE certificate holders in the Balkans.
Serbia Open 2015 Coffee Champion, Mr. Nikola Stanojčić (right) completes his training at Bazzara Company in Trieste, Italy
At about the same time Cremoso Latte successfully organized their Serbian Latte Art Championship 2015. The venue of this competition was BelExpo, the venue for CoffeeFest 2016.
Earlier in March 2015, recently formed Specialty Coffee Association of Serbia supported by Strauss Adriatic held a Serbian Latte Art Championship at the Belgrade’s popular Mixer House.
Specialty Coffee Association of Serbia organized the Serbian Latte Art 2015 competition. From right to left are Mr. Nenad Stojanović (winner), Mr. Miloš Jeličič (2nd place) and Mr. Marko Trošić (3rd place).