Congratulations are in order for Pete Licata, of Parisi Artisan Coffee, your new 2013 South Central Barista Champion! Mr. Licata is a consultant and trainer at Parisi’s headquarters in Kansas City, currently with one main cafe location in historic Union Station. Mr. Licata competed using a coffee from the Loja region of southern Ecuador, grown near the village of Vilcabamba by producer Lucas Vera. Pete Licata is a career competitor with an impressive roster of regional wins; he is the 2011 United States Barista Champion, and a 2nd place finisher at the 2011 WBC in Bogota, Colombia.
Mr. Licata competed last of 12 competitors on Finals Sunday at BCRBC, turning in a fluid, masterful performance that belies his years of experience on the biggest stages of competitive coffee. His finals routine clocked in at exactly 15 minutes, and featured a distinctive signature beverage based on the popularity of hot-and-cold beverages he discovered in Asia during his travels as a WBC winner. Mr. Licata employed two roast profiles throughout his routine: a light, contemporary roast for his espresso service, and a slightly darker, more developed roast for his cappuccino service. His signature drink included blood orange, clover honey, two distinct roast profiles of his Ecuadorian coffee, and a cold ginger cream with brown sugar.
A Kansas City native, Mr. Licata enjoyed quite a popular cheering section throughout his BCRBC weekend. Looking back, it’s tempting to say this win was inevitable for Pete, but Mr. Licata would be the first to tell you that his competition was fierce and the victory was hard-fought. Expect to see more than just Pete Licata representing the South Central region in this year’s USBC Sweet 18 Semi-Finals.
A sincere congratulations to Pete Licata and Parisi Artisan Coffee! Mr. Licata now has an automatic birth into the semi-finals at the 2013 United States Barista Championship, and he’ll join Southeast winner Lem Butler, North Central winner Charlie Habegger, and more on the 2013 Cafe Imports Origin Trip to Kenya.