25-year-old Paul Bassett from Australia won the World Barista Championship title in the third international competition held in Boston. The runners up were from Iceland and Norway. The competition was broadcast on national morning TV to over 20 million Americans.
Trading on his reputation as the world’s best barista (2003), he has since opened coffee outlets in Seoul, Korea, and in Tokyo. His first Tokyo shop was opened in Ginza in 2006. Some of his Tokyo shops hav since closed, leaving one in the Shinjuku district. Each location does its own roasting. Bassett also has a business wholesaling coffee and associated machinery, training baristas and selling single source coffees and his own special blend online.