Sprudge.com is thrilled to be sponsoring the maiden voyage of the Empire City Knockbox Classic, a brand new kind of barista competition from organizers Matt Banbury and Anna Utevsky of Joe NYC. Part theater sports, part coffee Double Dare, the Knockbox Classic brings together teams of NYC baristas for an evening of brain ticklers, feats of strength, tests of prowess and palate, and some serious gameshow-style challenges. Think of it as a great way for the NE region to release its competition angst and anxiety after the NERBC cancellation last year.

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When is it? Sunday January 27th, 2013 from 3-7pm

Where is it? The Joe Pro Shop (131 West 21st Street, Manhattan)

Who is participating? 8 teams of coffee pros from 8 of New York City’s top specialty coffee companies. Here’s your team leaders:

Sarah Leslie of Gimme! Coffee
Sam Lewontin of Everyman Espresso
Urban Eisley of Ports NYC
Elia Weg of Joe NYC
Amber Sather, Independent
Grace Lowman of Blue Bottle Coffee
Erin McCarthy of Counter Culture Coffee
Tamara Vigil of Irving Farm

The Knockbox Classic is free, totally open to the public, and should make for some excellent spectator coffee sports. Learn more and sign up by visiting the Knockbox Classic on Facebook. We’ll have staff on hand to cover the event and document all the crazy, and you should go! Get updates via @KnockboxClassic on Twitter.

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