I’m from Texas, home of the greatest state fair in the entire world. It’s the host of the Red River Showdown, one of the most storied rivalries in college football. Our motto is (I assume), “if it can be battered, we’ll fry it and jam it down your gullet.” Hell, we had a 52-foot tall cowboy named Big Tex that watched over the fairgrounds, until we burned that sombitch to the ground in 2012 and rebuilt him three feet taller. But as awesome as the Texas State Fair is, North Carolina’s may actually have the best attraction out of any. This year, the North Carolina State Fair has added a coffee roasting competition.

Taking place Friday, October 14th, the coffee roasting competition joins the fair’s other special cooking competitions like: the Chicken and Waffles Recipe contest, the “Sweet Potatoes Are Perfect For One-Pot Meals Recipe” contest, and of course the Great American Spam Championship. Limited to “licensed businesses in North Carolina who primarily roast and sell coffee,” entrants will be given 10 minutes to brew their coffees that will then be assessed by two judges panels based upon seven criteria: aroma, flavor, aftertaste, acidity, body, balance, and overall quality.

The top three finishers will receive $100, $75, and $50 respectively. But there’s more than money at stake here. It’s all about that blue ribbon.

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According to NC Headlines, the 12 roasters competing this year are:

Anchor Coffee Company, North Wilkesboro, NC
Aromatic Roasters, Pittsborro, NC
Back Alley Coffee Roasters, Wake Forest, NC
Bethesda Roasting Company, Durham, NC
Café De Los Muertos, Raleigh, NC
Camp Coffee Roasters, Blowing Rock, NC
Carborro Coffee Roasters, Carrboro, NC
Larry’s Coffee, Raleigh, NC
Magic Beans, LLC, Pfafftown, NC
Mountain Air Roasting Incorporated, Asheville, NC
Pushwater Coffee, Charlotte, NC
Summit Coffee Company, Davidson, NC

I’ve always said there needed to be better coffee at pygmy goat livestock competitions, and I for one am glad that the North Carolina State Fair is listening. The coffee roasting competition alone makes it the second best state fair in the country, but until they’ve deep-fried that coffee at least twice, they’ll never eclipse the greatness of my beloved Texas State Fair.

The North Carolina State Fair coffee roasting competition takes place Friday, October 14th from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Special Cooking Contest area in the Education Building on the fairgrounds. More information can be found here.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network and will probably be going to the State Fair of Texas sometime between now and October 23.

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