USBC Day Three: Your Semi-Finalists

By 24 April 2012

Our coverage of the 2012 United States Barista Championship is sponsored by Stumptown Coffee RoastersPhotography by Sprudge contributor Alex Negranza.

1.  Trevor Corlett, MadCap Coffee Company, Grand Rapids, MI - @tjorlet @madcap

10:18 mr. corlett heads up @madcap in DC, but he’s a michigan “map on the hand” MOO-ville dairy guy through & through

10:25 mr. corlett competes using s two bean blend from @madcap – colombia san sebastian and brazil fazenda rainha

10:29 calls time at 15 flat

2. Charles Babinski, Intelligenstia, Chicago - @charlesbabinski, @intelligentsia

10:37 mr. babinski is an education coordinator for @intelligentsia in LA -he placed 2nd in the 2012 southwest regionals

10:38 charles competes using @intelligentsia‘s pricy bolivia takesi microlot – clean white grape, floral aromatics

10:40 pulls shots 30 grams, 25 seconds, to accentuate “soft silky body for the floral characteristics”

10:48 calls time at 14:58 with another kangaroo hop – read about his coffee here

3. Katie Carguilo, Counter Culture Coffee, NYC - @katiecarguilo, @counter_culture

10:53 ms. carguilo competes using two different ethiopian coffees sourced by @counter_culture – first is idido natural

10:54 idido natural processed ethiopian employed by @katiecarguilo for her capps – “strawberry & cocoa”

10:57 2nd coffee is washed ethiopian from haru grown and processed at 2000 meters – “classic washed yirg characteristics”

11:02 sig drink: nectarine, lemon, jasmine green tea – carbonate water, vinegar – on top of that = haru washed espresso

11:06 “coffees are indigenous to ethiopia; you could argue they’re meant to be there. it’s the champagne of coffee…”

4. Travis Beckett, Peregrine Espresso, DC - @peregrineDC, @juicegarden

11:10 mr. beckett uses 65% ethiopia idido natural, 35% la frontera peru washed – sourced & roasted by @counter_culture

11:13 we’ve wondered: why does serene, calm, relaxing competition service seem a less common trait in men? @juicegarden refutes this.

11:15 this is a really charming performance. blood pressure falling… he’s offering so much knowledge…

5. Devin Chapman, Coava Coffee, PDX - @devchap, @coavacoffee

11:39 “5 days a week i’m a barista. i stand on the shoulders of producers”

11:40 sig drink: caramelized brown sugar, smoked salt, espresso – then 2 chemex brews 18% extraction and 22% extraction via paper & kone

11:42 18% extract gets wildflower honey – 22% @ablebrewing kone-brewed coffee gets aerated to enhance juiciness

11:43 sig drink recap: spro with sugar & salt, + two distinct chemex brews – paper & kone – kone brew aerated, paper brew gets honey

6. Lorenzo Perkins, Cuvee Coffee, Spicewood, Texas - @lorenzoperkins, @cuveecoffee

11:50 on espresso: “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” – this is a mirror routine of his SC region winning performance

11:51 two-part sig: tangerine, glacier hops, espresso- “this will exhibit characteristics brought by the washed process”

11:52 sig pt. 2: a dark cherry foam with buckwheat honey over clever brew, paired with a simple “emulsion”, or americano

11:55 me. perkins competes using @cuveecoffee el salvador reserva, from los naranjos region. learn more

7.  Lem Butler, Counter Culture Coffee, Durham, NC - @sexyfoam, @counter_culture

12:07 mr. butler competes using @counter_culture PNG bantu, a one-day pick sourced via CCC tairora cherry project

12:10 mr. butler asks the judges to sip espresso, sip sparkling water, “then come back to the espresso for a more personal experience”

12:24 though it’s been said, many times, many ways, @sexyfoam is really a lot of fun to watch.

8. Chris Baca, Verve Coffee Roasters, Santa Cruz, CA - @trubaca, @vervecoffee

12:28 this routine is a love letter to the organic natural & honey processing methods at los lajones panama estate

12:29 learn more about los lajones here: @trubaca #usbc2012 #2legit2quit

12:39 sig drink: cascara, nitrogen processed orange juice, orange peel aromatics caramelized with a lighter, espresso

12:41 mr. baca punches in time at 14:58 – clean, composed routine, with a serious message of environmental stewardship

9. Charlie Habegger, Intelligentsia, Chicago - @brainofcharlie, @intelligentsia

12:52 charlie habegger competes using costa rica san pedro, from the coope dota cooperative – not yet available, look for it via @intelligentsia later this spring

12:54 “The entire sensory experience of a single tea, from start to finish” – @brainofcharlie coffee meets tea service at #usbc2012

12:57 anything can go wrong with sig drinks, they’re all difficult, but with @brainofcharlie and his tea service “espresso flip”..the tiniest tactile slip = disaster

1:00 can i geek on competitors-as-baseball-stars for a second? @brainofcharlie an essential 3rd guy in your starting rotation

1:02 projecting habegger 2012 MLB stats:17-5, 3.82 ERA, +4 WAR, pulling 7mil / 3 years on the market – key component in @intelligentsia’s AL West pennant chase & playoff run

10. Ryan Knapp, MadCap Coffee Company, Grand Rapids, MI - @knappMADcap, @madcap`

1:24 mr. knapp is a green buyer and roaster for @madcap – he’s this year’s north central champ, and he won in 2011 as well

1:37 ryan competes using @madcap‘s el salvador elefante – only 40 pounds were produced this year

11. Tyler Stevens, Barista, PDX - @tyler_stevens

1:42 “i hope my city’s treating you well, it’s been fantastic being your host. my name’s tyler…”

1:47 mr. stevens competes using @stumptowncoffee colombia piramide reserva

1:52 sig: caramelized honey gastrique, cascara, aged all together in an oak barrel. burnt oak tips resin on the glass

1:54 chills his drink with a dense cold-draft ice, to prevent excess dilution in the glass – crafty bartender trick.

12. Laila Ghambari, Stumptown Coffee, PDX - @lay_luh, @stumptowncoffee

2:03 this routine is, in a very real way, a trip to finca el injerto – little details, maps, smells, tastes

2:12 “el injerto was the first coffee i fell in love with…and arturro, the farmer, is here right now”

2:16 “i come back to this coffee every single year because i believe in it. thank you.” time called at 14:55

13. Lindsey Kiser, Peregrine Espresso, DC - @peregrinedc

2:19 “coffee is as complex as the humans who consume it.” – ms. kiser competes using PNG baroida from @counter_culture

2:21 “it’s like tasting the color purple. sassy & sweet” – lindsey on her PNG espresso – she grinds first, gives it to the judges to sniff

2:32 lindsey’s sig: baroida shot, coconut and passion fruit mixture – stir – then taste some yummy ginger “candy floss”

14. Robbie Britt, Espresso Parts, Morley, MO - @robbiebritt, @espressoparts_

2:47 …he’s like the best science teacher you had in high school. you could ask for help after class and he’d be cool.

2:48 robbie competes using @handsomeroaster‘s colombia san sebastian – part of our #colombiana cupping table last month!


15.  Jacque DesMarais, Kaldi’s Coffee, St. Louis, MO - @jacquedesmarais, @kaldis_coffee

2:59 ms. desmarais took third place in this year’s competitive south central regionals, her second straight SE region finals appearanc

3:00 ms. desmarais competes using @kaldis_coffee brazil sertaozinho, sourced by @cafeimportslearn more

3:01 “Sensory judges, i’d like to go ahead and apologize to you for not being taller”

3:07 on her brazil sertaozinho espresso: green apple acidity, plum sweetness, bittersweet cocoa finish

16. Jared Truby, Verve Coffee Roasters, Santa Cruz, CA - @jtrubaca, @vervecoffee

3:26 mr. truby is your  projected opening day starter: 22-6, era 2.90, WAR +7, in consideration for cy young award #usbc2012 @vervecoffee #baseballnerd

3:28 mr. truby competes using @vervecoffee‘s Costa Rica Finale de Cosecha microlot – very unique lot sourced by colby barr

3:29 learn more about @jtrubaca‘s competition coffee here: – francisco mena’s costa rica micromill revolution

3:31 sig drink: vanilla bean cream espresso foam – over a “reimagined coffee cheery”, a sphere made with fruit juice

3:31 then cascara and molasses tea to focus on accentuating sweetness and body – “puts an exclamation point on this beverage”

17. 3:41 Jordan Barber, Intelligentsia, NYC - @barber_jordan, @intelligentsia

3:46mr. barber competes using an organic processed coffee from @eccocaffe – bolivia hipolito – learn more

3:50 you gotta love the stream of dialogue from @barber_jordan on stage – his one-sided conversation with the judges never feels forced

3:52 there’s a culinary utilitarian simplicity to his stage set – stainless steel co2 container, simple hotel ramekins

3:55 sig drink starts with a 130 degree americano – “to open the coffee up” – then skims the drink – “a little trick i picked up abroad”

3:56 he pairs these skimmed americanos with a danish dessert drink of buttermilk, egg yolk, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice

 3:48 mr. barber calls time at 14:55 – impressive roar in the crowd for his routine. we’ve got one more competitor left…

18. Courtney Marie Vaquera, MadCap Coffee Company, Grand Rapids, MI - @madcap

3:59 your final competitor of the day is courtney marie vaquera, one of three semi-finalists from @madcap

4:04 courtney marie drumming along to her music on the portafilterssan sebastian colombia espresso w/ jasmine florals, molasses sweetness

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