If the future belongs to the organized the future for coffee in Belarus looks bright.
After a slow start the coffee culture is now booming, mainly in the capital Minsk but the word is spreading. Coffee is seen as an affordable luxury and the coffee bars are the place to see and be seen while enjoying fine coffees, creative coffee beverages and local and international food.
Coffee professionals recently established the first chapter of the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) with an ambitious program. More than 20 members are registered and elections will decide who will be in charge during an upcoming series of events including education and the first WBC sanctioned Barista Championship.
This is not uncharted territory for the enthusiastic organizers. They have carefully monitored similar events in neighboring countries. Last year they did a trial run with international judges and WBC rules. There will also be a trial run for a Cup Tasting Competition and other competitions.
More important is a broad educational program to increase coffee skills and knowledge. Soluble coffee has been around for decades and roasted coffees have mainly come from neighboring countries including some award winning coffees from smallholders in Central America and East Africa. Local roasting is limited, but on its way. And with the SCAE initiative the future looks bright in Belarus.