Archive for the ‘US Barista Championship’ Category

Finals Results – MRBC 2009

January 23, 2009

This is the 2nd annual Mountain Regional Barista Championship, and the 2nd year that the amazing Mike Strumpf of Allegro Coffee Company (the event host) has organized another great opportunity for baristi from the Rocky Mountain region to get together and demonstrate their passion for coffee and raise the level of awareness and quality of what’s in the cup. Mike organized fantastic PR coverage of the event, including several articles in the local news media and a segment on the NBC Channel 9 local 5 pm news. Check it out on Mike’s blog.

The Open Round was held on Saturday and the following 6 baristi qualified for Sunday’s Finals:

Jesse Bladyka of Coal Creek Coffee, Laramie, WY
Greg Lefcourt of Ozo Coffee Co, Boulder, CO
Robin Crosby of Coal Creek Coffee, Laramie, WY
Philip Search of Sole Coffee Roasters, Boulder, CO
Emily Kryska of Caffee Sole, Boulder, CO
Thai Patton of The Cup, Boulder, CO

Results of Sunday’s Final Round:

3rd place- Philip Search
2nd place- Jesse Bladyka
1st place- Greg Lefcourt!

Above results via Mike Strumpf’s blog and his post on coffeed.com. Congratulations to Greg Lefcourt and all the participants!!! By winning this regional championship, Greg automatically qualified for the semi-finals of the 2009 United States Barista Championship to be held in Portland on March 5-8.

2009 Mountain Regional Barista Championship

January 12, 2009

Next weekend, Allegro Coffee Company (wholly-owned subsidiary of Whole Foods Market) will host the 2nd annual 2009 Mountain Regional Barista Competition in Denver (Thornton), Colorado. Professional baristi from Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho will be competing from January 16-18, 2009 for the right to participate in the United States Barista Championship in March 2009. Last year’s winner, Jon Lewis, has assumed a key role with the Cup of Excellence program and will not be participating, which should open up the field.

Mike Strumpf of Allegro Coffee Company (which is again acting as host) commissioned us to create sets of custom cobalt blue cappuccino cups for the top three finishers (hand inscribed by the artisan with the event and place of finish) and custom black cappuccino cups for each competitor. Last year, Allegro awarded red espresso cups to the top 3 finishers and black espresso cups to all participants, so baristi who competed last year and are coming back this year will be able to collect both espresso and cappuccino cups.

The winner will receive 6 Terra Keramik cobalt blue cappuccino cups plus a TORR espresso tamper handcrafted by Cafe Kultur in Germany from FSC-certified Palisander wood with a stainless steel base.

Good luck to all the participants! We will post the final results after the competition.

Thank you Mike and Allegro Coffee for selecting Terra Keramik to create these prizes for your regional barista championship.

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Canadian Barista Championship, Montreal, Oct 21-22, 2008

October 22, 2008

Here are the final results (courtesy of John Manzo) of the Canadian Barista Championship held in Montreal on October 21-22 in conjunction with the Canada Coffee & Tea Show. Six of the 14 first round competitors qualified for the final:

1. Sammy Piccolo Caffè Artigiano Vancouver, BC 569.5 pts
2. Spencer Vieghweger JJ Bean Coffee Vancouver, BC 562.0 pts
3. Joel May Fratello Coffee Company Calgary, AB 555.5 pts
4. Chad Moss Transcend Coffee Edmonton, AB 551.5 pts
5. Phil Robertson Phil & Sebastian Coffee Calgary, AB 527.5 pts
6. Anthony Benda Café Myriade Montreal, QC 517.5 pts

The winner for the fourth time is Sammy Piccolo, who is both the Manager of Caffè Artigiano’s Burnaby (Vancouver) location and an owner (together with his brothers Michael and Vince) of 49th Parallel Roasters, also located in Vancouver. Sammy will represent Canada at the next World Barista Championship planned for April 16-19, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. He placed an unprecedented 2nd, 3rd and 2nd at the 2004, 2005 and 2006 World Barista Championships (three consecutive top 3 finishes). He did not compete after the 2006 WBC, and the following two years, Colter Jones and Mike Yung represented Canada at the WBC, with Colter placing a strong 7th in 2007 and Mike finishing an excellent 5th at the WBC earlier this year. Both Colter and Mike represented Caffè Artigiano (Mike is still there and Colter moved on to 49th Parallel Roasters). In summary, the Caffè Artigiano “barista gang” will have represented Canada for 6 consecutive years at the World Barista Championships! Wow!

Congratulations to all of the competitors for elevating the quality of specialty coffee and exhibiting a true passion for your craft. Chad Moss and Anthony Benda may be a little disappointed with their placings (Chad won the 2004 South Australia regional barista competition; Anthony placed a fantastic 3rd at the Canadian Barista Championship in 2007 as a first-time competitor), but we congratulate both on their achievement to train for months and represent their artisan craft so well. Both Chad and Anthony competed with Terra Keramik espresso cups and cappuccino cups, as did Laura Perry (who unfortunately missed the finals) of Bridgehead Coffeehouses in Toronto. We thank you for placing your trust in our handcrafted, eco-friendly “competition grade” products. We also have a special partnership with Anthony (full disclosure!), who provides content for our online marketplace, including videos, recipes and tips around everything that is coffee and espresso.

And of course John Manzo would like me to mention that Western Canada continues to rule (see his blog) the Canadian coffee scene barista competitions (sorry Anthony!). 🙂

We also encourage you to check out the archived video coverage available at ustream.tv, as well as Liz Clayton’s coverage of the competition and Anthony Benda’s wrapup.

Canadian Barista Championship, Montreal, Oct 21-22, 2008

October 21, 2008

Just a quick interim post with the first round results of the Canadian Barista Championship being held in Montreal on October 21-22 in conjunction with the Canada Coffee & Tea Show. Sixteen baristi competed (4 baristi from each of 4 regional competitions), and this is the first year that all baristi qualified for the national competition via regional competitions (no open entries like in the past).

The top six baristi from the first round who qualified for the finals (starting at 12 noon Eastern Time on Tuesday, October 22) are as follows (in no particular order):

Joel May Fratello Coffee Company Calgary, AB
Spencer Vieghweger JJ Bean Coffee Vancouver, BC
Anthony Benda Café Myriade Montreal, Quebec
Chad Moss Transcend Coffee Edmonton, AB
Phil Robertson Phil & Sebastian Coffee Calgary, AB
Sammy Piccolo Caffè Artigiano Vancouver, BC

Notable is that that 5 out of the 6 finalists hail from Western Canada, with Anthony Benda the only representative from the Eastern part of the country. Many will point out that this wouldn’t necessarily reflect the quickly changing Eastern and Central landscape for specialty coffee in Canada, which has many excellent roasters, cafes and baristi (Montreal alone has several top cafes, including Cafe Sante Veritas, Anthony’s former employer, and his soon to open Cafe Myriade).

Video coverage (live streaming and archived videos) is available at ustream.tv.

We’re BAAACK!!!

October 21, 2008

We’ve been busy the past 6 months growing and expanding our online marketplace at terrakeramik.com and although we continue to be busy (especially with the holiday season only a few weeks away), we are excited to share with you some of the things we’re doing on this blog. We’ll be posting in the next few days, so check back! Thanks.

Finals Results – MRBC

March 2, 2008

28 baristi participated in the first-ever Mountain Regional Barista Championship. The Open Round was held on Saturday and the following 6 baristi qualified for Sunday’s Finals:

Anita Fried – Logans Espresso
Nolan Dutton – Conscious Coffees
Vajra Rich – Sole Coffee Roasters
Susan Price – The Black Cup
Jon Lewis – Long Story Short Coffee
Heidi Bickelhaudt – Trident Cafe

Results of Sunday’s Final Round:

3rd place- Heidi Bickelhaudt
2nd place- Nolan Dutton
1st place- Jon Lewis!

Congratulations to Jon Lewis and all the participants!!! By winning this regional championship, Jon automatically qualified for the semi-finals of the 2008 United States Barista Championship to be held in Minneapolis on May 2-5. Please read Jon’s blog to learn more about the event and the participants. Also check out Mike Strumpf’s blog (Allegro Coffee was the host).

Baristas Abuzz With Caffeinated Competition is a great article about the Region’s coffee scene with short biographies of 4 competitors.

2008 Mountain Regional Barista Competition

February 8, 2008
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The Specialty Coffee Association of America presents the 2008 Mountain Regional Barista Competition, hosted by Allegro Coffee Company (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Whole Foods Market), in Denver, Colorado on February 29 to March 2, 2008.
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Professional baristi from Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho will be each preparing and serving 4 espresso, 4 cappuccino and 4 signature drinks in a 15-minute competition. The winner of the 2008 Mountain Regional Barista Competition qualifies for the 2008 United States Barista Championship.
Mike Strumpf of Allegro Coffee Company commissioned Terra Keramik to handcraft sets of custom red espresso cups as prizes for the top three finishers (hand inscribed by the artisan with the event and place of finish) and custom black espresso cups for each competitor. As host of the 2008 MRBC, Allegro was interested in prizes that both commemorate the special event and also represent functional gear that the professional baristi could use in their cafés.
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Canadian Barista Championship, Toronto, Sep 16-17

October 3, 2007

Just a quick late post with the results of the Canadian Barista Championship held in Toronto on September 16-17 in conjunction with the Canada Coffee & Tea Show.

The results of the finals (6 best baristi from the open round and 2 regional champions) are as follows:

1st Mike Yung Caffe Artigiano Vancouver, BC
2nd Cady Wu Wicked Cafe Vancouver, BC
3rd Anthony Benda Café Santé Veritas Montreal, Quebec
4th Colter Jones Caffè Artigiano Vancouver, BC
5th Mark Krause Espresso Post Collingwood, Ontario
6th Derek Lucas Buon Amici’s Coffee Victoria, BC
7th Brette Richard 2% Jazz Victoria, BC
8th Kimberly Staveley Matter of Taste Kitchener, Ontario

Both Mike Yung, the winner, and Anthony Benda, the 3rd place finisher, are first time competitors.  Colter Jones, the defending 2006 CNBC Champion, finished 4th. Colter had placed a strong 7th at the World Barista Championship held in Tokyo in July. Mike Yung will represent Canada at the 2008 WBC.

With the Canadian Barista Championship, Terra Keramik continued to supply several competing baristi with our line of handcrafted espresso cups and cappuccino cups. We appreciate the trust placed in our products by Anthony Benda (Café Santé Veritas), Colter Jones (Caffè Artigiano), Andrew Legg (Transcend Coffee), and Jeremie Thompson (Bridgehead Coffeehouses), all of whom competed with our cups.

Andrew Legg and Poul Mark have started a Transcend Coffee blog with photos of the Canadian Barista Championship. Also check out the Dwelltime coffee blog of Barrett Jones, himself a top Canadian barista and brother of Colter.

Several people have posted competition photos on flickr, including Liz Clayton (who wrote a nice article for Barista Magazine), Rich Westerfield of Aldo Coffee, Poul Mark of Transcend Coffee, and James Hoffmann, the current WBC champion.

World Barista Championship, Tokyo, Jul 31-Aug 2

July 31, 2007

James Hoffmann of the UK wins championship

Updated as of August 2

45 of the world’s best baristi, each representing their country as national champion, travelled to Tokyo for the 2007 World Barista Championship to demonstrate their skills and passion to craft and serve 4 espresso, 4 capuccino and 4 signature drinks (their choice) during a 15 minute competition slot.  Six baristi qualified for the finals.

Read our report on the 2007 US Barista Championship for more background information.

We encourage anyone interested in following the World Barista Championship to visit the following sites that are providing “live” coverage (blogs, photos and video):

  • zacharyzachary.com: Two well-regarded baristi, Katie Carguilo (herself a USBC semi-finalist) and Zachary Carlsen, travelled to Tokyo to provide hours and hours of amazing coverage of the WBC.  Both are blogging live from the competition and upload videos of each competitor’s performance within hours minutes.
  • Barista Magazine: Barista Magazine publisher Ken Olson covers the WBC from Tokyo with top notch reporting and stunning photos.  Very complementary to the zacharyzachary.com effort.
  • coffeegeek.com: Coffeegeek offering their insight into the WBC and some of the participants and one minor “controversy”.
  • Winners

    The results of the final round:

    1st Place: United Kingdom – James Hoffmann
    Watch his first round presentation

    2nd Place: United States – Heather Perry
    Watch her first round presentation

    3rd Place: New Zealand – Carl Sara
    Watch his first round presentation

    4th Place: Japan – Miyuki Miyamae
    Watch her first round presentation

    5th Place: Switzerland – Anna Kaeppeli
    Watch her first round presentation

    6th Place: Brazil – Sylvia Magalhaes
    Watch her first round presentation

    All first round videos courtesy of zacharyzachary.com.

    Colter Jones, national champion from Canada and general manager of Caffe Artigiano in Royal Park, Vancouver, competed in the first round (see the video) using the Terra Keramik espresso cups and cappuccino cupsColter finished a strong 7th place (1/2 point from 6th place and a place in the finals, due to going over the 15 minutes allotted time). Congratulations on an amazing performance and we hope he’ll defend his Canadian barista champion title and come back to the WBC next year!


    Colter Jones’ Cappuccino Pour during the 2007 Tokyo WBC (photo by Barrett Jones).

    Observations

    The finalist group represented four continents, demonstrating the global progress and success achieved by baristi in the past few years. Four of the six finalists are women.

    Heather Perry, the US national champion, achieved the highest US finish ever with her 2nd place. Matthew Riddle, the 2006 USBC champion, finished 3rd in the 2006 WBC. Jim Hoffmann, this year’s world champion, finished 5th in the 2006 WBC.

    Competition was very tough with several pre-competition “favorites” not qualifying for the finals (e.g., Scottie Callaghan of Australia, the various Nordic champions). The prior year, three of the six finalists were from Nordic countries (Denmark, Sweden and Iceland).

    Contrary to the sparse live media coverage of the 2007 USBC (see Takeaways in our report on the 2007 US Barista Championship), the live blogging with videos and commentary from zacharyzachary.com kept the global community of coffee enthusiasts well informed and riveted to their computer screens. Thanks for the unprecedented coverage! Both Barista Magazine and coffeegeek.com also reported from Tokyo.

    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.

    USBC RANK NAME COMPANY CITY, STATE REGION SCORE
    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].