For the first time this August 31 through September 4, barista champions will have the opportunity to demonstrate their craft in front of a live audience of thousands on Red Square at the annual Spasskaya Tower festival.

I can’t think of a more fitting way for the new emerging specialty coffee culture in Russia to be put on public display for all the world to see. It’s going to be a show to remember.

Champion baristas from around the globe will serve specialty coffee on Moscow’s Red Square for the first time in history this summer during the annual Spasskaya Tower international military tattoo and music festival. The festival is a five-day celebration, concert and fireworks spectacle featuring military, cultural and musical performances from a dozen nations set against the striking backdrop of the Russian Federation’s national capitol.

Adding to the cultural exchange of this year’s event, five national barista champions including 2011 United States Barista Champion Pete Licata will be on-hand to serve complimentary espresso, cappuccinos and an original signature drink created in honor of Spasskaya Tower to attendees, participants and VIPs including high-ranking diplomats and celebrities.

“Coffee is a natural addition to the festival since it brings together people of all cultures,” observes Soyuz Coffee Roasting Managing Director Drago Lakic. “We are proud to bring the best in their craft to Moscow as ambassadors of good coffee and to experience the new and exciting coffee culture that is quickly growing in Russia.”

The Russian Federation, historically a tea-drinking nation, has one of the world’s fastest growing populations of coffee drinkers, making it an epicenter of new specialty coffee activity.

A live audience exceeding 35,000 is expected to be in Red Square for the event between August 31 and September 4, 2011 with millions more watching international television and Internet coverage abroad.