The Nordic Barista Cup: The first competition took place in Denmark in 2003 and it’s been going from strength to strength every year since. These annual events bring together baristas and many other specialty coffee professionals in an environment where knowledge can be shared through meeting, learning, seminars…and a lot of very hands-on practical workshops and challenges! (You can read more about this unique organization atwww.nordicbaristacup.com).
In 2009, Mercanta and our partners Café Noble sponsored the winning NBC team to visit Costa Rica in January 2010 – a trip everyone’s looking forward to. About 15 baristas, organizers, Mercanta and Café Noble staff and media will attend the week-long trip visiting farms, mills, barista jams – you name it. Oh – and not forgetting the beach!!
NBC is about more than just learning and fraternity – it’s also about giving something back. Every year, there are events and collections for the target charity in the sponsor producing country. This year, the chosen charity was Manos Abiertas (meaning ‘open hands’), a hospice in Costa Rica in Alajuela, north west of the capital, San José, in the heart of the coffee lands. The foundation cares for people with cerebral paralysis that have been abandoned and have nowhere else to go. Many of the residents are terminally ill. It is run by catholic nuns and only survives by donations. The nuns give the people shelter, food, company, devotion and housing. This center is run professionally and is very clean. Most importantly the disabled people are treated humanly and they have the best possible quality of life given their medical conditions. They have a project (for 6 years now) that due to lack of funds has not been completed and this is to build a separate unit where they would host and treat only children with cerebral paralysis in terminal condition who require more intense medical follow up. You can read more (in Spanish only) on the Manos Abiertas at www.manosabiertas.org/macro.htm.
By the end of the afternoon, the NBC auction and NBC bazaar had raised an amazing €7,117! This was transferred to Manos Abiertas in December where the funds will have an immediate impact on improving the lives and well-being of terminally ill residents at the hospice.
On behalf of the sisters that run Manos Abiertas, we would like to thank all of the baristas, visitors, organizers and sponsors who made this year’s NBC possible and the many other contributors. We hope to post news and pictures during 2010 from Manos Abiertas so you can see how this donation has been put to use.
And we’re looking forward to NBC Oslo in June 2010…!