Announcing A Prima Original Documentary: The World Barista Championship

Announcing a brand new documentary by Prima Coffee: The World Barista Championship

Earlier this year, Seattle played host to one of coffee’s largest events: the World Barista Championship. Competitors from over 50 countries came to compete, in front of an international audience of hundreds, with thousands more watching online. The World Barista Championship is a tremendous industry event, with an end goal of finding a Champion to serve as a global ambassador for specialty coffee for the following year.

A competition for coffee? Really? It may sound crazy, or perhaps outright ridiculous, but the World Barista Championship has been a cornerstone of the coffee world for 15 years. To compete at the world level requires countless hours of hard work and dedication, devotion to the craft of coffee, and excellence in every aspect of your routine. The simple act of serving coffee while talking about it is now transformed into a skilled performance, all while surrounded by judges scrutinizing your every move. If you thought the morning rush at your local shop was intense, it’s got nothing on the WBC stage.

Here at Prima, we love the WBC. It’s thrilling to watch your national champion step on stage and compete, to clench your fists in anticipation of the winners announcement, and to dissect the judges’ expressions as they ponder the coffees before them. If coffee could be a sport, this is what it would look like, and we may as well be the fans in the stands covered in bodypaint. And with the WBC in Seattle this year during the SCAA Expo, we knew we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share this with you. The WBC’s story is perhaps more important than we realize, and it’s done so much for the coffee community worldwide. So, share we have!

Below, you’ll find the culmination of a lot of hectic filming during a trade show, a whole bunch of fantastic coffee pros who stepped up to help out, and lots and lots of hours of editing afterward. We couldn’t have done this without help, so I’d like to personally thank Sarah Allen from Barista Magazine for helping us get started with our interview arrangements, and Laila Willbur (née Ghambari, congrats!) for helping us get in touch with the intrepid baristas of the Iranian Barista Guild. And thanks especially to all the folks I bothered at the Expo itself for last-minute interviews - I will never cease to be amazed at how friendly and gracious coffee people are. And thank you in particular to the SCAA and WCE for allowing us to film the whole thing!

Without further ado, we present our short documentary: The World Barista Championship - A Global Influence.



Tim Wendelboe
James Hoffmann
Sam Lewontin
John Letoto
Sarah Allen
Laila Willbur
Ben Kaminsky
Nelson Icenhower
Sidra Zimmerman
Narrated by
Steve Rhinehart
Filmed/Edited by
Cody Maher
Additional Footage
Provided by
European Coffee Trip
SCAE Osterreich
Malaysian Specialty Coffee Association
Iranian Barista Guild
Transcend Coffee
Graphics by
Chris Diggs
Original Music by
Ryan Felbinger
Additional Music:
"Cylinder Two" by Chris Zabriskie
Steve Rhinehart
Sidra Zimmerman

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