The competing barista,
both worthy and fair,
must pack up their wares
to avoid disrepair.

Items arrive with nary a scratch, oh the pure joy and elation!
Now comes the time to (wary) unpack
at a chosen prep station location.


Practice makes perfect,
or so it’s been said,
though many a nerve has been calmed with a Pabst.

On time to practice,
early to bed,
but surely there’s room for a drink at Von Trapps?


Morning comes a-flecked with dew,
the competition stages set,
the trade show yonder hums anew,
and foreheads? They do glow with sweat.


Beyond the cameras,
‘neath the crowds,
and just beyond the judges.

There sits a cluttered table,
given over to the Sprudges.

Typing more (and typing still!)
their hands-a patter-pitter,
transcribing moments (live at large!)
to all the lands on Twitter.


Your routine, a truly gallant thing: so bold, so right, so true.
For 15 longing minutes every eye was watching you.

Victory can soon be yours if that’s, in truth, your wishes.
But first things first, schlep off the floor
and go wash all your dishes.


The scores are tabulating,
the MCs, they do stall;
it seems the whole world’s waiting
for the final Finals call.

A cluster of baristas,
but are you among the few?
Have your efforts measured muster in the field o’ derring-do?


It all comes down to points,
Or is it scripting? Is it pours?
Could the winds of fate be drifting
nearer you ‘n’ yours?

After eons spent in limbo,
after hours spent a-waitin’,
our town crier has an edict:
let’s all listen toย Steve Leighton.


Was there joy in Mudville? Were you called safe at home?
Have you got a gig consulting
at that big Nespresso Dome?

Was all this effort worth it
if your name’s announced or not?
Was every judge bowled over
by your sorted nano-lot?

Your name was called; it wasn’t.
It doesn’t matter, does it?
If ever time was truly yours,
a memory, this was it.

Barista competitions, they might put you in arrears.
They’re hell on pocketbooks
(and nerves)
but good for your careers!

Illustrations by Ben Blake.

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Words by Zachary Carlsen and Jordan Michelman.ย 

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