The 2007 Addis Ababa Barista Championship was a joy to put together. The time allotted was little, but we pulled it off. In the end, Mifta Sultan, an aspiring barista from Lime Tree restaurant in Addis, came out on top. The event was well-attended by much of the EAFCA (East African Fine Coffee Association) Conference crowd that included representatives of 40 countries. Thanks to a great final training effort by John Sanders (Hines Coffee), Amber Sather (Intelligentsia), Roukiat Delrue (Guatemala), and Peter Owiti (first Kenya barista champion), the semi-finalist baristas who took the stage Friday were well prepared. The stage was set in the Atrium (greenhouse) space of the Hilton Hotel. The sunlight, fountains, greenery, Rancilio lever espresso machines, and traditional dress of finalists made for a spectacular setting. This was a great case of tradition meeting modernity in design and technology. It was a beautifully branded event that did its own storytelling. It was a pleasure to have been a part of it. The event leaves Addis with an association of inspired baristas who now know much more about the distinctiveness and value of their coffees. They’re also pulling some pretty sick latte art! Cheers to the Ethiopian baristas!