Archive for May, 2007

US Barista Championships, Long Beach, May 4-7

May 7, 2007

Heather Perry wins championship, only two-time USBC champion (2003 in Boston, 2007 in Long Beach)

Updated as of May 18

Leading up to the 2007 United States Barista Championships (USBC), the media has taken an increasing interest in the barista profession as well as the human side of preparing for an intense and highly competitive championship.  That’s great news (pardon the pun)!  However we still have a long way to go to raise awareness among the coffee consumer.  For example, a Krups-sponsored survey, which asks what is the definition of “barista”, received responses varying from a lawyer (barrister in the UK) to someone who loves burritos. About 33% of the survey respondents knew that a barista is someone who prepares and serves your cup of java.

The Chicago Reader portrays one professional barista’s preparation for the 2007 United States Barista Championships (USBC) in its article The Best Barista in the World? about Intelligentsia Coffee’s Matt Riddle. Matt is the 2006 US barista champion and finished 3rd in the 2006 World Barista Championships (WBC) (highest placing ever by an American).

Chow (an online food and drink blog) followed the progress of Murky Coffee’s Katie Carguilo (winner of the Midatlantic Regional Barista Championship) as she prepared for the USBC. Check out the initial article and the follow-up article. Katie qualified for the USBC semi-finals (top 25 baristi) but (unfortunately) did not make the finals.

Mark Prince and his team at Coffeegeek are summarizing have summarized the SCAA Conference and the US Barista Championships in their daily report covering May 5 (day 1) and May 6 (day 2) and May 7 (day 3).  The daily reports provide really nice coverage (including photos) of several baristi, including Jay Caragay, Jon Lewis, Kyle Larson, Billy Wilson, Matt Riddle, Peter Licata, and Nick Cho.  You will see Nick Cho using the Terra Keramik espresso and cappuccino cups.

Dan Kehn of Home Barista summarized the 6 finalists’ performance in a series of photos. The photos of Peter Middlecamp show him using the Terra Keramik espresso and cappuccino cups.

Several attendees have posted photos on Flickr and videos on Youtube. Here’s a selection with credits:

  • Photos by Coffeegeek’s Mark Prince.
  • More photos by Mark Prince.
  • Mark Prince photos of barista Matt Riddle.
  • Photos by Espressoparts’s David White.
  • Photos by Intelligentsia’s Tonx.
  • Photos by Aaron Duckworth of Espresso dell’Anatra.
  • Photos by ghostbarista.
  • Video clip of barista Eton Tsuno by DevonTS.
  • Photos by dogmilque.
  • Championship Results

    Competitors prepared and served 12 coffee drinks: four espressos, four cappuccinos and four signature drinks within a 15-minute timeframe. Judges focused on station cleanliness, taste, beverage presentation, technical skills and total impression.

    We are honored that three competing baristi, Peter Middlecamp (finalist), Nick Cho (semi-finalist) and Daryn Berlin (semi-finalist) chose our Keramik espresso and cappuccino cups to hold and serve their culinary and artistic creations during the 2007 US Barista Championships.

    Below are the preliminary final results. Final results will be posted as soon as they are available.

    Final Round
    1st Heather Perry Coffee Klatch San Dimas, CA West 701.00
    2nd Pete Licata PT’s Coffee Overland Park, KS Midwest 671.00
    3rd Matthew Riddle Intelligentsia Chicago, IL Great Lakes 669.00
    4th Chris Deferio Carriage House Ithaca, NY Northeast 668.00
    5th Kyle Glanville Intelligentsia Los Angeles, CA West 663.50
    6th Peter Middlecamp Black Sheep St. Paul, MN Great Lakes 563.50
    Semi-Final Round
    7th Jon Lewis Bumper Crop Newman Lake, WA Northwest 615.50
    8th Kevin Fuller Albina Press Portland, OR Northwest 612.00
    9th Chris Baca Ritual San Francisco, CA West 610.00
    10th Phuong Tran Lava Java Ridgefield, WA Northwest 598.50
    11th Billy Wilson Albina Press Portland, OR Northwest 597.50
    12th Michael Phillips Intelligentsia Chicago, IL Great Lakes 591.00
    13th Amber Sather Intelligentsia Chicago, IL Great Lakes 590.50
    14th Robin Seitz PT’s Coffee Overland Park, KS Midwest 565.00
    15th* Alex McCracken Kaldis Coffee St. Louis, MO Midwest 564.00
    16th* Nick Griffith Coffee Klatch San Dimas, CA West 564.00
    17th Nicholas Cho Murky Coffee Arlington, VA Southeast 563.50
    18th Eton Tsuno Groundwork Los Angeles, CA West 561.50
    19th* Lucky Rodrigues Temple Sacramento, CA West 556.00
    20th* Katie Carguilo Murky Coffee Washington, DC Midatlantic 556.00
    21st Maki Campbell Zoka Seattle, WA Northwest 553.00
    22nd Steve Fritzen Coffee Hound Bloomington, IL Great Lakes 545.00
    23th Kyle Larson Stumptown Portland, OR Northwest 523.50
    24th Daryn Berlin Counter Culture Durham, NC Southeast 520.50
    25th Yaelle Levine Barefoot Santa Clara, CA West 515.50
    First Round
    N/A Justin Teisl Alterra Milwaukee, WI Great Lakes N/A
    N/A Sonja Schutte Aldo Pittsburgh, PA Midatlantic N/A
    N/A Scott Lucey Alterra Milwaukee, WI Great Lakes N/A
    N/A Josh Modrzynski Coffee by the Books Pasadena, CA West N/A
    N/A Tatiana Becker Trabant Seattle, WA Northwest N/A
    N/A Sean Kohmescher Temple Sacramento, CA West N/A
    N/A David Hermann The Roasterie Kansas City, MO Midwest N/A
    N/A Kyle Hill Zoka Seattle, WA Northwest N/A
    N/A Lem Butler Daily Grind Chapel Hill, NC Southeast N/A
    N/A Lorrie McCullaugh Trabant Seattle, WA Northwest N/A
    N/A Dismas Smithe Borogrove Everett, WA Northwest N/A
    N/A Dan Griffin Cafe Collage New York, NY Northeast N/A
    N/A Sean Douglas White Groundwork Santa Monica, CA West N/A
    N/A Jay Caragay Spro Towson, MD Midatlantic N/A
    N/A Scott Hladky JP’s Java Austin, TX South Central N/A
    N/A Dominic Taylor Barefoot Santa Clara, CA West N/A
    N/A Gail Nelson Cafe Verrazzano Lakeside, CA West N/A
    N/A Rafael Aguiar Jones Coffee Pasadena, CA West N/A
    N/A Ariel Meltzer Coffee Hound Normal, IL Great Lakes N/A
    N/A Chris Berola Latte Land Prairie Village, KS Midwest N/A
    N/A John Johnson JP’s Java Austin, TX South Central N/A
    * When a tie occurs, the USBC will break the tie by counting how many “6’s” and “5’s” each competitor received from the judges. The competitor with the most top scores will win and break the tie.

    Credits: Competitor information from Coffeed (Nick Cho, Billy Wilson, Jay Caragay) and Aldo Coffee (Rich Westerfield). Finalist results from Mark Prince, posted on Coffeed by Jim Hoffmann. Overall results from Dan Kehn at Home Barista.

    Some Take-Aways

    We were disappointed with the coverage during the 3-day event from both the traditional media as well as the blogs and forums and agree with suggestions from the coffee community that event organizers should consider contracting coverage to a PR firm that has experience organizing media coverage for a large, championship caliber event. 

    We would also appreciate if the SCAA considered additional rule changes to make the event more transparent and accessible to the coffee community because that would help increase awareness of and appreciation for the barista profession. Just a couple of examples:

  • Publishing the competitors’ scores immediately following the judges’ scoring decision. [Update: as of May 18, the SCAA which organizes the USBC has not yet published the above results on their public website].
  • Video clips of competitors’ performances for those interested but unable to attend. [Update: Several industry participants have agreed to work together to organize better media coverage for the 2008 USBC].
  • It would also generate more interest and enthusiasm for what is a terrific championship event! [Update: Apparently the US Air Guitar Championships, scheduled for June, is attracting huge media coverage].