Top U.S. barista and hometown favorite Phuong Tran was eliminated yesterday from the World Barista Championship in Seattle....
Tran, 35, owner of Lava Java in Ridgefield, Clark County, and a trainer for Seattle-based Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea, kept her composure after finalists were announced, and she was surrounded by fellow baristas offering hugs and condolences.
"It's a serious competition," she said, standing among baristas representing 36 nations at the event.
"They're all my friends, so I'm happy for them."
One of her pals is Vancouver, B.C., barista and coffee-shop owner Salvatore "Sammy" Piccolo, one of six national champions who advanced to the finals.....Other finalists are Troels Overdal Poulsen of Denmark; Jonina Tryggvadottir of Iceland; Hiroyuki Kadowaki of Japan; Carl Sara of New Zealand; and Gunnhilde Seljenes of Norway.
In the competition, at the Seattle Public Library's former temporary facility at Eighth Avenue and Pike Street, baristas each had 15 minutes to prepare and serve judges four espressos, four cappuccinos and four nonalcoholic signature beverages of their creation.
Tran said she probably won't compete next year and instead will focus on her career of training other baristas.
But she'll still serve her signature drink, the Crimson Sage latte flavored with sage and white pepper, at Lava Java.