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T. Ben Fischer of Stone Creek Coffee Roasters in Milwaukee, WI

Next week the world of United States competitive coffee will gather in Kansas City, Missouri for a massive multi-region mega-qualifier of unheralded proportions, a super super regional bringing together 100 baristas from sea to shining sea, each fighting for a coveted spot at the 2016 United States Barista Championship. We'll be covering it in enormously full detail all week long next week right here on Sprudge, as well as over on Sprudge Live, our sister site dedicated to all things coffee competitions, with coverage sponsored by Urnex Brands.

Schedules for next week's event just dropped and there's a huge amount of interest in who's competing. With a roster full of newcomers and returning stars, it's easy to see why. The event is split into two conferences—Eastern and Western—with the top six baristas from each conference earning an automatic bid at the US Barista Championship. As per the SCAA, “The remaining competitors from each conference will then be combined into one pool and ranked based on score. The 24 highest scoring baristas from this combined and ranked pool will be invited to compete in the first round of the US Barista Championship.”

The drama. The intrigue. The new 10 minute competition format. We'll break the schedules down day by day over on Sprudge Live, but for now let's gaze upon the competitor list in its full glory. All times CST.

Western Conference Day 1—Tuesday, February 2nd [competitors begin at 10:50 AM CST]

10:50 Anthony Rivas, De Cafe Baristas, Monterey Park, CA

11:00 Eli Ramirez, Shift Coffee, Denton, TX

11:10 Andy Fung, Hide Out Café, Rowland Heights, CA

11:20 Casey Soloria, Intelligentsia Coffee, Pasadena, CA

11:30 Suzy Lippmann, Augie's Coffee Roasters, Redlands, CA

11:40 Tamara Vigil, The Coffee House, Lincoln, NE

11:50 Joel Bigelow, PT's Coffee Roasting Co, Topeka, KS

12:00Anthony Binion, Coffee Vault, Enumclaw, WA

12:10 Kim Alexander, Tanager Coffee Roasters/Cathedral, Portland, OR

12:20 Perry Czopp, The Coffee Chop, Phoenix, AZ

12:30 Jared Gum, Bar Francis, Olympia, WA

12:40 Jonathan Dail, Hidden House Coffee, San Juan Capistrano, CA

12:50 Chelsea Rae, The Roost, Lawrence, KS

1:30 Samuel W. Smith, Topeca Coffee Roasters, Tulsa, OK

1:40 Isaiah Sheese, Archetype Coffee, Omaha, NE

1:50 Ashley Rodriguez, Sightglass, San Francisco, CA

2:00 Seth Fuller, Colony Class, Colorado Springs, CO

2:10 Brian Ensminger, Barista, Portland, OR

2:20 Breanna Lloyd, Royal Drummer, Seattle, WA

2:30 Derrick Wessels, Beagle Coffee Company, Fort Collins, CO

2:40 Jeffrey Dow, Steamdot Coffee Roasters, Anchorage, AK

2:50 Mae Clark, Street Bean, Seattle, WA

3:00 Matthew B. Henderson, Lift Coffee Roasters, Riverside, CA

3:10 Kelly Sanchez, Blue Bottle Coffee Co, Oakland, CA

3:25 Hugo Cano, Bar Nine Coffee, Culver City, CA

 

Western Conference Day 2—Wednesday, February 3rd [competitors begin at 10:50 AM]

10:50 Becky Reeves, Ristretto Roasters, Portland, OR

11:00 Josh Taves, Novo Coffee, Denver, CO

11:10 Cris Mendoza, Saint Frank Coffee, San Francisco, CA

11:20 Jon French, Old World Coffee, Reno, NV

11:30 Cierra Brooks, Amethyst, Denver, CO

11:40 Kyle Ramage, Mahlkonig USA, Scotts Valley, CA

11:50 Stacy Wood‐Burgess, Cafe Javasti, Seattle, WA

12:00 Tyler G. Hill, The Principal's Office, Colorado Springs, CO

12:10 Cole McBride, PublicUS, Las Vegas, NV

12:20 Maxwell Mooney, Spotted Cow Coffee, Mill Creek, WA

12:30 Michelle Johnson, Cartel Coffee Lab, Tempe, AZ

12:40 Chris Shaw, Nordaggios Coffee, Tulsa, OK

12:50 Bethany Hargrove, Barista, Portland, OR

1:30 Tyler Brodd, Dinosaur Coffee, Los Angeles, CA

1:40 Sheli Maciel, Allegro Coffee Company, Oakland, CA

1:50 Dylan McClain, Case Study Coffee Roasters, Portland, OR

2:00 David Buehrer, Greenway Coffee Co, Houston, TX

2:10 Sam Schroeder, Olympia Coffee Roasting Co, Olympia, WA

2:20 Jesse Gonzalez, Ritual Coffee, San Francisco, CA

2:30 Devin J. Chapman, La Colombe, Los Angeles, CA

2:40 Nicholas Balcer, The Arbor Lodge, Portland, OR

2:50 Eden‐Marie Abramowicz, Bastet Coffee, Los Angeles, CA

3:00 Brandon Acuna, Local Coffee/Merit Roasting Co., San Antonio, TX

3:10 Talya Strader, Equator Coffees & Teas, Oakland, CA

3:25 Ryan Fisher, Commonwealth Coffee, Denver, CO

 

Eastern Conference Day 1—Thursday, February 4th [competitors begin at 10:50 AM]

10:50 Erik Czuprinski, River City Roasters, Wheaton, IL

11:00Alex Schuster, Dunn Brothers Coffee, Eden Prairie, MN

11:10 Micah Sherer, Ally Coffee, Greenville, SC,

11:20 T. Ben Fischer, Stone Creek Coffee Roasters, Milwaukee, WI,

11:30 Nathan Nerswick, Chattahoochee Coffee Company, Atlanta, GA,

11:40 Erin Swift, Beans and Bagels, Chicago, IL

11:50 Kathie Hilberg, Spyhouse Coffee Roasting Co, Minneapolis, MN

12:00 Ashley Elander, Intelligentsia Coffee Co, Chicago, IL

12:10 Samuel Lewontin, Everyman Espresso, New York, NY

12:20 Nathan Dela Cruz, Anodyne Coffee Roasting, Milwaukee, WI

12:30 Abeah Hunter, Panther Coffee, Miami, FL

12:40 Kevin Wilsea, Gimme! Coffee, Ithaca, NY

12:50 Helena Shanks, River Rock Coffee, St. Peter, MN

1:30 Courtney Vaquera, Madcap Coffee, Grand Rapids, MI

1:40 Jason Mundie, Prevail Coffee Roasters, Opelika, AL

1:50 Marcos Iglesias, BREW Coffee Bar/Raleigh Coffee, Raleigh, NC

2:00 Corey R. Reilly, Counter Culture Coffee, New York, NY

2:10 David G. Hall, Kaldi's Coffee Roasting Co, Kansas City, MO

2:20 Michael Harwood, Ceremony Coffee Roasters, Annapolis, MD

2:30 Margaret DeGoosh, Bard Coffee, Portland, ME

2:40 Jonathen Liu, Blue Bottle Coffee, Brooklyn, NY

2:50 Anna Rozebnberg, Charter Coffee, New York, NY

3:00 Jeremy Sterner, Peregrine Espresso, Washington, DC

3:10 Jordan Howe, Arthouse Coffee, St. Louis, MO

3:25 Sam Lipnick, La Colombe Coffee, Washington, DC

 

Eastern Conference Day 2—Friday, February 5th [competitors begin at 10:50 AM]

10:50 Tracy Gill, Joe Van Gogh, Durham, NC

11:00 Radames Roldan, Blueprint Coffee, St. Louis, MO

11:10 Hadassah Wilson, Square One Coffee, Lancaster, PA

11:20 Trevor Corlett, Madcap Coffee, Washington, DC

11:30 Leticia Pollock, Panther Coffee, Miami, FL

11:40 Jonathan Moehlig, Land of a Thousand Hills, Roswell, GA

11:50 Jon Lewis, Deeper Roots Coffee, Cincinnati, OH

12:00 Wolf Barn Marnell, Pavement Coffeehouse, Boston, MA

12:10 Wade Preston, Prevail Coffee Roasters, Opelika, AL

12:20 Luis Colon, Fuego Coffee Roasters, Rochester, NY

12:30 Andrea Allen, Onyx Coffee Lab, Fayetteville, AR

12:40 Ron Grieco, Stacks Espresso Bar, Albany, NY

12:50 Lemuel Butler, Verity Resins, Forest City, NC

1:30 Levi Roye, Post Coffee Company, Kansas City, MO

1:40 Christine Goepfert, Filter Coffeehouse, Washington, DC

1:50 Matthew Scott, Lemonjello's Coffee, Holland, MI

2:00 Drew Frohn, Ultimo Coffee, Philadelphia, PA

2:10 AJ Willett, Ferris Coffee, Grand Rapids, MI

2:20 Sean Hundley, One Line Coffee, Columbus, OH

2:40 Andrew B. McCaslin, Kaldi's Coffee Roasting Co, St. Louis, MO

2:50 Trevor Gruehn, Bradbury's Coffee, Madison, WI

3:00 Nathan Cochran, ReAnimator Coffee Roasters, Philadelphia, PA

3:10 Stephanie Caronna, La Farm Bakery, Raleigh, NC

3:25 Timothy Jones, Jubala Coffee, Durham, NC

Sprudge.com's coverage of the 2016 international coffee competition season, including next week's US Coffee Championships qualifying event, is produced in partnership with Urnex Brands.