It’s a battle of the brew. Specialty Coffee podcaster, Kalita slinger, videoist, cafe owner, and now Serious Eats coffee writer Nicholas Cho has elicited a range of reactions from a recent post about new brew technologies (more or less poo-pooing all of them), and now our friends and sponsors at Alpha Dominche have challenged him to a final brew down to settle it all. will serve as your official Golden Qualified Medallion Level (Platinum Circle) Omnimedia sponsors, partners, and plenipotentiaries for this event, and we’ve got all the deets.

The stakes are high: Cho’s article takes issue with pretty much every mechanized brewer there is, from the Bunn Trifecta, to the Curtis Gold Cup, the Blossom, and the Alpha Dominche Steampunk (emphasis ours):

I’ll be honest with you: I’m not really a fan of any of these machines. The Curtis Gold Cup has a lot going for it, but it has a few key features that, if improved, could result in a great brewer. Its main problem, though, may be that it’s not an attractive piece of machinery. Who thought fake carbon fiber belonged on a coffee brewer? My cousin’s 1995 Honda Civic called and it wants its dash trim back.

Them’s fighting words – and Alpha Dominche has challenged Mr. Cho to a man versus machine brew battle to prove once and for all who brews best. The #Bruel takes place at Lamill Coffee Roastery/Workshop (1112 Westminister Ave.) in Alhambra, California on February 19th, 2014. The event starts at 3pm and ends with a big Lamill, Wrecking Ball, and Alpha Dominche BBQ and kegger at 5 pm.

The battle involves brewing five coffees for three judges. African, Central American, Indonesian, South American and a dark roast coffee will be brewed. The competition will brew a Lamill and Wrecking Ball coffee – and will source three more through the powers that be on Twitter.

We spoke directly to Nick Cho about this very important event.

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Have you ever battled like this before?

No. The last time I competed with coffee was a completely ill-prepared run at the SW Regional Barista Competition in 2010. I’m actually not familiar with any such head-to-head challenge in the coffee industry.

What will you be brewing with?

I’ll be brewing on Kalita Wave 185 drippers, Kalita Wave Pots for pouring and a double induction range to get my water temps up to where I’ll want them, and grinding on Baratza grinders. Probably a couple of Fortes.

Do you have any secret weapons?

If I can, I’ll get Cobra Kai on that Steampunk and sweep the leg. Barring that, it’s all about technique.

What are you going to wear?

I’m counting on Maria Hill to score me something with a unicorn on it. Since I’m competing for humanity, I should probably find a Slim Goodbody costume… but then oh, the humanity maybe not.

In the end, do you think there will be a clear victor?

There had better be. After all, if I don’t win, the Alpha Dominche Steampunk will become self-aware on February 20, 2014 and we’re all doomed.

Is this like Kasparov and IBM, or is this like Rocky and Ivan Drago?

Both. It’s man vs machine, so that’s like Kasparov vs IBM. But I have like almost no body hair whatsoever, so that’s more like Rocky vs Drago. Also, Rocky’s training montage in Rocky IV was only like 7 minutes long. Mine will be 5 weeks long. Then again, it will be set to the same music, just on repeat.

I admire Khristian and Alpha Dominche for their overall aesthetic design, and especially for bringing me this challenge. I do feel a big responsibility representing the pour-over enthusiast baristas around the world, but I have confidence in my pourovers.

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