And just like that, the field for the 2023 US Coffee Championships is set. After a thrilling weekend of coffee competition in Denver at the second and final Qualifying Event of the season, we have a much clearer picture of what’s in store in April for the national round of competition taking place as part of the SCA Expo event in Portland.

Nearly 200 coffee professionals took the stage in Denver this weekend across the six disciplines: Barista Championship, Brewers Cup, Coffee in Good Spirits, Cup Tasters, Latte Art, and Roasters Championship. And the intrigue was high. Multiple coffee competition veterans came out of retirement in an attempt to win a title (or another one). Still—and perhaps proof of just how high-level the performances are even at this stage—competition newcomers showed out in equal measure, going step for step with the old guard.

It’s only going to get harder from here. With our sights turning to Portland, where the winners from Denver will join the other half of the field from the first Qualifying Event that took place in Baltimore back in January, competitors have just six short weeks to turn the screws and fine-tune their routines to take it to the next level. It’s the most exciting time on the US coffee calendar. But before we prognosticate and get all Spostradamus on who is best positioned to win it all, let’s celebrate those who punched their tickets to Portland over the weekend. Here is everyone moving on from the second 2023 US Coffee Championships Qualifying Event in Denver, Colorado.


Barista Championship

1. Seidy Selivanow (she/her) – Kafiex Roasters – Vancouver, WA
2. Isaiah Sheese (he/him) – Archetype Coffee – Omaha, NE
3. Anthony Ragler (he/him) – Black & White Coffee – Zebulon, NC

Jenna Gotthelf (she/her) – Counter Culture Coffee – New York, NY
Nora Brady (she/her) – Blueprint Coffee – St. Louis, MO
Gray Kauffman (they/them) – Caffe Vita – Seattle, WA
Becky Reeves (she/her) – Creature Coffee Co – Austin, TX
Frank La (he/him) – Be Bright Coffee – Los Angeles, CA
Veronica Pearl (she/her) – Futura Coffee Roasters – Los Angeles, CA
Maja Balabanova (she/her) – Novo Coffee – Denver, CO
Reyna Callejo (she/her) – Olympia Coffee – Seattle, WA
Reef Bessette (he/him) – The Coffee Movement – San Francisco, CA
Phillip White-Jackson – Little Lunch Coffee – Los Angeles, CA
Adrian Gomez (he/him) – Independent – Chula Vista, CA
Heather McCullough (she/her) – Novo Coffee – Denver, CO
Jason Yeo (he/him) – Saint Frank Coffee – San Francisco, CA
Keziah Hjellen (she/her) – Narrative Coffee – Everett, WA


Brewers Cup

1. Korachai Silapavitankul (he/him) – Amberson Coffee – Indianapolis, IN
2. Danesha Toro (they/them) – Greater Goods Roasting – Austin, TX
3. Jesus Iniquez (he/him) – Archetype Coffee – Omaha, NE

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Heather McCullough (she/her) – Novo Coffee – Denver, CO
Wenbo Yang (he/him) – Independent – Vancouver, WA
Yudi (she/her) – Fellow – Los Angeles, CA
Marissa Childers (they/she) – Tanbrown Coffee – Atlanta, GA
Hugo Cano (he/him) – Amberson Coffee – Indianapolis, IN
Eduardo Padilla (he/him) – Pair Cupworks – Mesa, AZ
Daniel Teplitz (he/him) – Klatch Coffee – Los Angeles, CA
Will Johnson (he/him) – Messenger Coffee – Kansas City, MO
Justin Bull (he/him) – Helm Coffee Roasters – Indianapolis, IN


Coffee in Good Spirits

1. Garrett VanWambeke (he/him) – Independent – Atlanta, GA
2. Natasha Solowoniuk (she/her) – Caffe Vita – Seattle, WA
3. Edwin Gorritz (he/him) – Barista Squared – Orlando, FL

Linea True (she/her) – Boxcar Coffee Roasters – Arvada, CO
Kyle Hamlin (he/him) – Jubala Coffee – Raleigh, NC
Kebechet Moxen – (xe/xem/xyr) – Independent – Boston, MA
Kimhak Em (he/him) – Pair Cupworks – Tempe, AZ


Cup Tasters

1. Thomas Chandler – Black Oak Coffee Roasters – Ukiah, CA
2. Sebastian Legner (he/him) – Coda Coffee – Denver, CO
3. Mehmet Sogan (he/him) – Memli Coffee – San Diego, CA

Jake Donaghy (he/him) – Olympia Coffee Roasting – Olympia, WA
Ryan Jie Jiang – Less & More Coffee – Beaverton, OR
Steve Cuevas (he/him) – Black Oak Coffee Roasters – Ukiah, CA
Andy Sprenger (he/him) – Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters – Lakewood, CO
Reuben Villagomez (he/him) – Paloma Craft Coffee – Brooklyn, NY
Rooney (they/them) – Luce Coffee Roasters – Houston, TX
Rachel Stanich (she/her) – Red Fox Coffee Merchants – Port Costa, CA
Genifer Ness (they/them) – BRC Inc – Manchester, TN
Aaron Rollins – Caffe Ibis – Logan, UT
Andrew Shelley (he/him) – Brio Coffeeworks – Burlington, VT


Latte Art

1. Wenbo Yang (he/him) – Artly Coffee – Portland, OR
2. Truc Ngo (she/her) – IO Coffea – Los Angeles, CA
3. Piyapat Lapteerawaut (he/him) – Coffee Project NY – New York, NY

Kayla Herrera (she/her) – Iconik Coffee Roasters – Santa Fe, NM
Benjamin Parham (he/him) – Independent – Denver, CO
Patrick Gibbs (he/him) – Luce Coffee Roasters – Houston, TX


Roasters Championship

1. Kiara Freysinger (she/her) – Huckleberry Roasters – Denver, CO
2. Kimhak Em (he/him) – Pair Cupworks – Mesa, AZ
3. Steve Cuevas (he/him) – Black Oak Coffee Roasters – Ukiah, CA

Matthew Selivanow (he/him) – Kafiex Roasters – Vancouver, WI
Andrew Coe (he/him) – Elevator Coffee – Portland, OR
Alex Huang (he/him) – Equator Coffees – San Rafael, CA
Mark Kove (he/him) – White Nene Coffee Roasters – Kialua Kona, HI
Sam Larobardier (he/him) – Theory Coffee Roasters – Redding, CA

Congratulations to everyone moving on. See you in Portland!

All media via US Coffee Championships

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