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Whoa! The Southwest Regional Barista Competition was a big bad mondo mega event, and it unfortunately snowballed our normally scheduled weekend programming. But nothing, not even the biggest regional event of the 2013 season, can hold back our intrepid intern Ben Blake. Here’s the very best from last week, just in time for the start of this week.

The Southwest Regional Barista Championship just wrapped up at Verve Coffee Roasters in Santa Cruz, California, and after an exhilarating competition, your winners have been crowned.

Your 2013 SWRBC Brewer’s Cup Champion is Mr. Charles Babinsky of G&B Coffee! Mr. Babinsky also placed second in the Barista Championship and used Ritual Coffee and a Kalita Wave for his winning brew.

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Eden-Marie Abramowicz is your 2013 Southwest Regional Barista Champion! Ms. Abramowicz works for Intelligentsia Silver Lake, and her fancy-foot, visual routine wowed the judges and earned her the top spot. Ms. Abramowicz will be joining the other 5 Regional winners, as well as the USBC Champion on the Cafe Imports origin trip to Kenya! Congrats!

Donut and Coffee Pairings, Illustrated – Sprudgie Award winning journalist Erin Meister and cartoonist/illustrator Lucy Knisley teamed up with the fine folks at Saveur to bring us some of the best, most delicious coffee and donut pairings in all the land. Get back, haters and purists—this list is scrumptious. There’s nothing more heavenly than a good donut with fresh, hot coffee. Take a look at the wonderfully drawn pairings and color your illustrative Sprudge intern jealous.

New Cafe Openings

One of the really exciting things about working in the coffee industry is seeing the onslaught of amazing new coffee spaces that are continually opening their doors across the globe. This week, Sprudge took a look at a couple new spots in San Francisco.

Linea Caffe – Founder and former owner of Ecco Caffe, Andrew Barnett has teamed up with Anthony Myint of Mission Street Foods to begin work on the brand new Linea Caffe in SF’s Mission District. This is fantastic news not only for coffee enthusiasts, but food lovers as well—Mission Street Foods is already a much loved (and much blogged about) food group, and will serve salads and waffles in the space, under the moniker “Lieutenant Waffle.” You read that right. The cafe is scheduled to open in May—look for more info soon!

Saint Frank – USBC Competitor and long time Ritual Coffee barista Kevin “Tex” Bohlin has secured an old nail salon in the Russian Hill neighborhood of SanFran and intends to open a specialty coffee bar that serves “relationally sourced coffees.” Tex plans on having exclusive coffees that will be unavailable anywhere else and a second floor training lab and office. You can sign up for updates on the build-out and follow @StFrankCoffee on Twitter. Also, a job well done to Mr. Bohlin, who finished third in this year’s SWRBC.

Sprudge + AIDS Walk – is proud to announce that it has been selected to be an official media sponsor of this year’s AIDS Walk in NYC. This is an important event, and we’d love to see you get involved—more from our coverage:

We think cafes and coffee enthusiasts in New York can make a huge impact by supporting AIDS Walk NY. Will your cafe be participating in the event? If so, please be sure to let us know – drop us a line at We’d love to see photos of our friends and colleagues in the New York City specialty coffee community marching in the walk on May 19th.

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