I never wanted to go to Tokyo.

No, really. I never had even a smitten of a desire to go. It terrifies me in some ways. Something about the foreign disconnect of a coffee farm or desert island seems cool to me. Not the metropolis of Tokyo, though. Maybe it’s because I think I’m better, or more intelligent than the under developed world, maybe I think Tokyo is too intelligent for me. Like, between the language barrier and other factors, maybe I’d be swept away by some super computer… Who knows… but the desire wasn’t there.

That has changed, however. Actually, part of it, once again, is Bourdain inspired. One of the last chapters of his books talks of a week he spent in Tokyo. It makes me hunger for that tiny hole-in-the-wall sushi joint no ones knows of. But most of all, I want to see the best baristas in the world.

I’ve been there before. I watched Phoung tear it up in 2005. I watched as she came closer to the prize than any American did before her. Then, Matt picked up right where Phoung left, taking us closer than ever before to victory.

Now, we wait… We wait to see what will come of America. What will come of Heather Perry and James Hoffman… and the ever so impressive Carl Sara of New Zealand. Brazil, the shocker, the dark horse has me impressed and in awe. The Japanese, who should never underestimated, are once again in the race. I have a bit of spite in me from 2005 towards the Japanese. That was when they made it to the finals for the first time, putting the US in 7th by .5 points.

I wish I was in Tokyo. I wish I could be there to see the crowning of a new World Barista Champion. Who can fill Klaus’ shoes? Only one person I know is that calm and can handle crowds in a way he can… That’s the Hoff. He’s the man. I can’t wait for tomorrow. I am was too anxious for the results…

And so I wait.


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