Laila Ghambari of Cherry Street Coffee House in Seattle, WA is your 2014 United States Barista Champion! This is Laila Ghambari's first USBC win, and the first win for Cherry Street Coffee, a wholesale partner of Dillanos Coffee.
Ghambari's Cherry Street Coffee House is owned and operated by her father, Ali Ghambari (pictured below), and has 9 locations throughout the Seattle area. This makes Laila Ghambari the first competitor from a family-owned business to win the USBC since Heather Perry did it for Klatch Coffee in 2007. It's also a huge win for Dillanos Coffee Roasters, based in Sumner, Washington, whose head roaster Phil Beattie featured prominently in Ms. Ghambari's winning routine.
Coffees served by Laila Ghambari at USBC were grown and processed by the team at Cuatro M Cafes, hailing from the company's El Manzano farm in the Santa Ana department of northwest El Salvador. Her routine featured three distinct processing methods from El Manzano: pulp natural, washed, and natural, each yielding distinct flavors and combined together in a complex blend.
The champ is pictured below with Phil Beattie of Dillanos (left) and producer Emilio Lopez Diaz, of Cuatro M Cafes.
Ghambari competed with milk in her cappuccinos from Pure Eire Dairy in Othello, Washington. For her signature drinks, she combined coffee cherry jam & coffee flower blossom honey with espresso, and added smoke from coffee tree wood, ignited and captured live on stage with a smoke gun. Every last component of her sig drink–the jam, the honey, the wood, and the coffee–was grown on the grounds of El Manzano in El Salvador.
It was in many ways an irresistible story here at the 2014 United States Barista Championship. Laila Ghambari has competed extensively over the last five years, for multiple companies, but destiny seemed to be holding back victory until she could claim a title for her family's company. Cherry Street's strong partnership with Dillanos Coffee Roasters resulted in a carefully sourced, specifically roasted coffee from Cuatro M Cafes. The hometown hero came up big. The narrative falls seamlessly into place.
Laila Ghambari now moves on to represent the United States of America at the 2014 World Barista Championship in Rimini, Italy. This event begins on June 9th. We'll be there covering the event live in partnership with World Coffee Events.
Sprudge.com's coverage of the 2014 United States Barista Championship has been made possible by direct support from Cafe Imports and The Wilbur Curtis Company. Our 2014 barista competition coverage around the world is underwritten by our friends and partners at Nuova Simonelli.