Welcome to another edition of our weekly Saturday news magazine, “Last Week With Ben Blake”. Mr. Blake is’s trusty news intern, and a world-traveling illustration genius. Check out Draw Coffee for more of Ben’s work.

Northeast Regional Barista Championship

We’re right in the heart of RBC season, and this week the Northeast sent the best of their best to Dallis Bros. Coffee in Queens, NYC to compete for the top prizes in the Barista Championship and Brewers Cup. After three days of fierce competition, we’re pleased to announce your winners.

This year’s Northeast Regional Barista Champion is Samuel Lewontin! Mr. Lewontin serves as the manager at Everyman Espresso SoHo in NYC, a dedicated Counter Culture account. More from our coverage:

“In his 15 minute competition routine, Mr. Lewontin highlighted this coffee’s fruit and citrus notes, achieved by a unique “eco-pulping” method at Mpemba wet mill in Burundi. Like nearly all Burundian and Rwandan coffees, the coffee Mr. Lewontin served was comprised mainly of the Bourbon variety.”

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Meanwhile, Jordan Barber of Intelligentsia is your Northeast Regional Brewer’s Cup Champion! This was an impressive repeat win for Mr. Barber, who also placed third in the Barista Championship. Check back on in the coming days for more information on Jordan’s winning routine.

A huge congratulations to you both, and a job well done to all of the competitors!

On a somewhat related, though slightly more Irish note…The Irish Barista Championship finished up this past week, and Colin Harmon, owner of Dublin’s 3FE took the top spot. This is Mr. Harmon’s fourth IBC victory, and he’ll be joining some the best baristas in the world in Melbourne, Australia this May at the World Barista Championship. Congratulations, Colin!

CoffeeLab at Venuez Belgian Bar Show

Your trusty intern and doodler was galavanting around Antwerp, Belgium earlier this week, doing live drawing on old window panes at the Venuez Belgian Bar Show and hanging out with Team Sausage (a wild group of Baristas at Caffènation). Holland’s Jeroen Veldkamp (past Dutch Barista Champion) gathered talented baristas, beautiful La Marzoccos, a mad cocktail scientist, and artists to create a coffee-centered area where attendees could be fully immersed in the coffee culture. Walking in on a raised catwalk, guests were immediately surrounded by steam and baristas pulling shots. The main focus of the Venuez event was for bars and brands to create intuitively designed set-ups to inspire future current and business owners with design ideas for their space. The Coffeelab area was created by a Dutch club designer, and was a huge success, in the honest opinion of this intern. Events like this are a great example on how to introduce people to specialty coffee for first time. Look for more Coffeelab to pop up at events like this across Europe.

Photo from Coffeelab on Facebook.

More photos can be found on Coffeelab’s Facebook page.

Happy Coffee Readings To Brighten Your Day
There’s been a lot of junk out there lately—a lot of negative writing in the coffee industry, which perpetuates negative writing about the coffee industry. That’s what makes articles like these ones from Verve’s Alexandra LittleJohn and Gimme! Coffees Sarah Leslie such important reading. In case you missed them from earlier this week, you should check out:

Alexandra Littlejohn On Why Cafes Should Be Like Nail Salons

Sarah Leslie On What She Loves About Coffee

Video-of-the-Week: The Best Harlem Shake Video in Coffee?
Last, and let’s be frank here, likely least in our weekly wrap-up is this Harlem Shake meme video sent to us by the folks at Palace Coffee in Canyon, Texas. This is a magical, shocking, and perfect thirty seconds.


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