Honolulu Coffee Co.’s Pete Licata: World Domination Update

Last month, John Heckathorn took you, Biting Commentary reader, coffee picking with Hawaii’s Pete Licata, the best barista in America (he won the U.S. Barista Championship in April).

This past weekend, the Honolulu Coffee Co. director of coffee quality and barista trainer took second place at the World Barista Championship in Bogota, Colombia. Being the second-best coffee guy on the planet is nothing to sniff at. See Licata in action at the competition.

The World Barista Championship recognizes professional achievement in the art and skill of espresso-drink preparation and service. Fifty-four countries sent their best barista to Bogota to compete in 15-minute performances that featured four espressos, four cappuccinos and four original, signature drinks.

Licata impressed the judges with a presentation of Hawaii’s top coffees from “fruit to cup.” He personally harvested, processed and roasted coffees from Rusty’s Hawaiian in Kau and Waiono Meadows in North Kona on the Big Island.

Does being from Hawaii give Licata an edge on the competition? “It’s a huge advantage to be able to take a half-hour flight and be on a coffee farm—the source of a great cup of coffee,” says Licata. “No other barista in the U.S. has this privileged professional advantage.”