Mr. Wismans represented the city of Milwaukee and the newly rebranded Colectivo Coffee at Big Central. He was, as point of fact, the first-ever Colectivo competitor, and today he’s their first barista champion. Mr. Wismans competed using an Ethiopia Kochere coffee, imported by Cafe Imports and roasted at Colectivo’s roastworks in Wisconsin. It’s a washed ECX Yirgacheffe, from a lot purchased by Cafe Imports.
His routine was notable for being playful, even comedic at times, with Mr. Wismans telling the judges things like “put on your hard hat and boots, judges – we’re going to the olfactory!” He finished his routine with the quote: “Judges, I hope you’ve enjoyed this olfactory tour – smell ya’ later!” It wasn’t all jokes, of course; Mr. Wismans focused on some basics of anatomy and biology, offering a crash course on how smell affects taste, and why our sense of smell matters so greatly when evaluating and enjoying fine coffees. His signature drink incorporated the aromatics of lavender and concord grapes, while nodding to Milwaukee’s brewing culture by serving his final course in a glass rimmed with honey and mosaic hops.
The roar in the crowd when Mr. Wismans’ name was announced was at once cathartic and electric. Josh Wismans moves on to a first round bye at the 2014 United States Barista Championship in Seattle, Washington next April.
Tyler Rovenstine represented Kansas City, Missouri at Big Central. He was a 2013 South Central finalist, and came back with a polite vengeance this year to take the competition outright 6 hours north of home. Mr. Rovenstine competed using a coffee called El Roble Lavado, from Costa Rica’s renowned Tarrazu region. Mr. Rovenstine’s coffee was processed at the Rio Jorco micromill, one of several Costa Rican micromills renowned for their commitment to ensuring quality at this important stage in the supply chain. Mr. Rovenstine’s coffee was sourced for Oddly Correct by Tim O’Brien and The Green Coffee Vault.
Tyler is a deliberate, methodical competitor on stage, effortless in his station maintenance and composure in a way that reminds us of another great Kansas City competitor – the sitting World Barista Champion, Pete Licata. There’s a pride of place evident in Mr. Rovenstine’s competition choices; his signature drink was openly inspired by the Kansas City cocktail scene, made of orange oleo saccharum, panela, fresh sage, and espresso.
The Chiefs are 8-0. Tyler Rovenstine is your 2014 South Central champion. Today was a pretty good day for #KCMO.
Sprudge.com’s coverage of the 2014 Big Central made possible by direct support from Cafe Imports and Wilbur Curtis Co.
Our 2014 competition coverage is anchored by Nuova Simoenlli.