Now is where things start to get interesting. Really, really interesting. After a rousing Day One here at Klatch Coffee’s lab and roastery in Rancho Cucamonga, California, our attention turns to Day Two, to the Semi-Final round. 12 competitors fought their way through Round One to give it their all yet again, but this time they’ll be joined by the six competitors who earned by bye via a Top 6 finish at the Qualifying Event in Houston earlier this year. The already thin margin for error just got laser spliced.

And the cuts only get deeper. Just six of today’s group of 18 will make it to the Finals tomorrow to make their best case for the title of US Barista Champion. You can feel the tension, the nerves, the jitters. But maybe that’s just the coffee.

There’s one thing we know for sure, though, and it’s that the competition this year is really, really high. And today is sure to take it up one notch further. So buckle up, we’ll be here all day keeping track of every routine from the Semi-Final round of the 2024 US Barista Championship.

Sprudge’s coverage of the 2024 US Barista Championship in Rancho Cucamonga is presented in partnership with Third Wave Water

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Hugo Cano (he/him) – Amberson Coffee – Indianapolis, IN

Coffee used at competition
Anaerobic fermented Gesha variety coffee grown at 2,000masl by producer Jamison Savage on Finca Deborah in Volcán, Panama, roasted by Archetype Coffee.

Espresso Course
Pulled at 20g in and 46g out for 26 seconds into chilled espresso cups, espressos have notes of clementine, raspberry, jasmine, and a 75% dark chocolate finish, with an aftertaste of strawberry and light brown sugar.

Milk Course
The 3:1 ratio milk course consists of a three milk blend: 40% whole milk, 40% freeze distilled lactose-free milk, and 20% caramelized coconut milk for flavors of orange creamsicle, chocolate malt, and almond butter, with a medium-heavy weight.

Signature Drink
Cooled Gesha espresso gets combined with macerated pineapple juice and caramelized coconut milk, blended, and finished with an orange blossom tea aromatic fog. The signature beverage has notes of strawberry sorbet, chocolate mousse, and butterscotch.

First year competing?
No

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Gray Kauffman (they/them) – Seattle, WA

Coffee used at competition
A yeast-inoculated, double-anaerobic fermented, thermal shock processed Caturra grown at 1,900masl by Wilton Benitez at Granja El Paraiso-92 in the Cauca region of Colombia, frozen 20 days off roast.

Espresso Course
21g in to 45g out, 18 seconds, pulled over frozen stainless steel balls, for notes of fresh apricot, canned mandarin orange, and turbinado sugar, with a light-to-medium weight and a lingering dark chocolate finish.

Milk Course
Combined in a 2.5:1 ratio, a three-milk blend consisting of freeze-distilled 3.5% fat milk, lactose free milk, and freeze-distilled oat milk gives the thermal shock Caturra notes of vanilla wafer cookie and fruity dark chocolate.

Signature Drink
Chilled espresso, fermented blood orange juice, wildflower honey and hibiscus tea syrup, and egg white get blended together and served in stemware with a jasmine tea spritz for notes of fresh raspberry, white grape, and milk chocolate.

First year competing?
No

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Dakota Graff (he/him) – Onyx Coffee Lab – Rogers, AR

Coffee used at competition
An anaerobic fermented natural processed SL34 produced by Rigoberto Herrera grown at 1,800masl on Granja La Esperanza in Potosí, Colombia; an anaerobic natural Eugenioides grown at Cafe Inmaculada in Valle del Cauca, Colombia; and an anaerobic natural robusta from Hacienda Legrand in Ecuador.

Espresso Course
15g in 45g out in 22 seconds and extracted over chilled spheres, the SL34 espresso has notes of ruby red grapefruit, cacao nib, strawberry, and warm honey, with a silky and round tactile, medium weight, and a long, complex, slightly-drying finish.

Milk Course
Combining a peaberry version of the SL34 with the Eugenioides, the 3:1 milk beverage imports freeze-distilled lactose free milk for flavors of salted caramel, almond cake, milk chocolate, and a white chocolate finish.

Signature Drink
Blending SL34 peaberry with the Ecuadorian robusta, the sig bev incorporates cascara and coffee flower cordial, aqua faba, and lacto-fermented raspberries, served in an apple, for notes of raspberry, tart apple, and orange taffy.

First year competing?
No

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David Ellis (he/him) – Oh Oh Coffee – Aurora, CO

Coffee used at competition
An anaerobic fermented, wash processed Pink Bourbon variety coffee grown at 1,700masl by Luis Edgar Camacho at Finca La Palma in Palestina, Huila, Colombia.

Espresso Course
Pulled at 19g in 36g out, the Pink Bourbon as espresso has notes of pink lemonade, red cherry, and 70% dark chocolate, with a medium body, round texture, and a lingering juicy mouthfeel.

Milk Course
A custom blend of 60% lactose free milk, 30% freeze distilled whole milk, and 10% coconut milk pair with the slightly longer espresso shot that, as a cortado, has flavors of malted chocolate milkshake and cherry.

Signature Drink
Pink Bourbon, cascara simple syrup, and pomegranate molasses reduction get poured over coffee flower tea ice cubes, giving the sig bev notes of plum, vanilla, and jasmine.

First year competing?
Yes

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Noel Goodwin (she/her) – Hagen Coffee Roasters – Black Diamond, WA

Coffee used at competition
A Yellow Bourbon variety grown at 1,730masl in the Huila region of Colombia by Rodrigo Sanchez at Finca Monteblanco, fully washed and double anaerobic fermented, and roasted 10 days ago.

Espresso Course
21g in to 40g out in 23 seconds, espressos have notes of watermelon, honeydew, and molasses, with an orange finish, medium body, and a juicy mouthfeel.

Milk Course
A custom blend of 85% whole milk and 15% macadamia nut milk gets freeze distilled and homogenized combine with the espresso for notes of hot cocoa, melted strawberry ice cream, tiramisu, and vanilla, with a creamy mouthfeel and a toasted pecan finish.

Signature Drink
Aerated espresso, raisin puree, fermented passionfruit-infused honey, a mixture made of spent coffee pucks and orange juice, and mango puree, chilled, and then ultrasonic homogenized, all finished with a coffee blossom and redcurrant jelly aromatic. The signature beverage has notes of raspberry, red grape, peach, and a dark chocolate finish, with thick body and a velvety mouthfeel.

First year competing?
Yes

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Jamie Patel (he/him) – Counter Culture Coffee – Wake Forest, NC

Coffee used at competition
A honey anaerobic washed processed Gesha variety grown at 1,600masl by Marysabel Caballero and Moisés Herrera on Finca El Puente in Marcala, Honduras.

Espresso Course
19g in to 44g out for 23 seconds, the Finca El Puente Gesha has notes of cranberry, pink grapefruit, orange blossom, and dark chocolate, with a lingering black tea-like finish.

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Milk Course
Freeze-distilled and caramelized lactose-free milk create a beverage with notes of yogurt-covered raisin, vanilla, and stroopwafel.

Signature Drink
Hyper-chilled Gesha espresso, blackberry syrup, lacto-fermented kiwi juice, and freeze-distilled and caramelized lactose-free milk get blended together for flavors of fresh cherry, toffy, and yellow peach milkshake.

First year competing?
No

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Rafael Levy Diner (he/him) – Onyx Coffee Lab – Rogers, AR

Coffee used at competition
A red honey processed Gesha from producer Pepe Arguello at Finca Santa Cruz in Chiapas, Mexico, and a black honey processed Wush Wush variety from Sebastian Ramirez at El Placer Estates in Colombia, blended together at a 5:3 ratio.

Espresso Course
16g in to 40g out at a 19.3% extraction, the espresso course has notes of raspberry, ripe ruby red grapefruit, orange blossom, and dark cocoa, with a lingering finish.

Milk Course
The 3:1 ratio milk beverage incorporates freeze-distilled lactose-free whole milk for flavors of Werthers caramel, salted toffy, milk chocolate, and brown butter, with a rich, buttery, and creamy finish.

Signature Drink
A mole-inspired beverage, the signature drink contains a coffee blossom honey and cacao solution, ancho chile infused agave syrup, salted whey, extra virgin olive oil, red corn masa, and lime juice, all steamed together and then smoked over cherry wood. Flavors include warm mulled apple cider, spicy chocolate, fire toasted marshmallow, and mole.

First year competing?
Yes

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Jason Yeo (he/him) – Saint Frank Coffee – San Francisco, CA

Coffee used at competition
A lactic fermented, wash processed Gesha variety grown at 1,700masl by producer Benjamin Paz at El Brujo in Santa Barbara, Honduras.

Espresso Course
Pulled over frozen spheres at 20g in and 43g out for 25 seconds, the washed Gesha has notes of cherry, tangerine, and dark chocolate with a black tea finish.

Milk Course
Cryodesiccated lactose-free milk rehydrated in A2 milk in a cortado-sized beverage gives flavors of white chocolate, caramel, and chocolate milkshake.

Signature Drink
Hyper-chilled espresso, lemon oleo saccharum, milk-washed cold pressed orange juice, and clarified orgeat get a nitro charge, presenting flavors of orange blossom, lemon candy, blood orange, grape candy, and cherry.

First year competing?
No

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Seidy Selvanow (she/her) – Kafeix Roasters – Vancouver, WA

Coffee used at competition
A natural processed, carbonic macerated Maracaturra variety produced by Samuel and Gloria Ronzon at La Joya in Veracruz, Mexico at 1,700masl, and an anaeromic-fermented Gesha grown at 1,700masl in Colombia.

Espresso Course
Using the anaerobic Gesha pulled at 18g in to 42g out, the espressos have notes of apple, rainier cherry, jasmine, and oolong peach tea, with a medium weight, juicy texture, and a mandarin orange finish.

Milk Course
The Maracaturra Mexico coffee combines with lactose-free milk for a raspberry milkshake-like beverage with flavors of yellow cake batter, melted raspberry ice cream, and sweet vanilla, with a cocoa finish.

Signature Drink
Rapid chilled Gesha espresso, instant Maracaturra coffee, pineapple oleo saccharum, and raspberry compote get combined and nitrogenated, for flavors of strawberry candy, guava, and pomegranate, with a sweet tropical finish.

First year competing?
No

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Reef Bessette (he/him) – The Coffee Movement – San Francisco, CA

Coffee used at competition
A double-fermentation thermal shock processed Gesha variety grown at 1,960masl by producer Diego Bermudez of El Paraiso in Cauca, Colombia.

Espresso Course
Pulled over frozen sphere, the Gesha espresso has notes of ripe yellow peach, fresh pink guava, and oolong tea finish, with a medium weight and silky texture.

Milk Course
Combining cryodesiccated raw A2 cows milk powder from a Lexington, Oklahoma dairy with a freeze-distilled oat milk, the milk course has notes of white chocolate, vanilla wafer, and butter shortbread.

Signature Drink

Gesha pour-over and espresso get rapid-chilled and combined with white grape syrup and nitrous charged for flavors of floral jasmine, fresh pineapple, lime sherbet, and strawberry candy.

First year competing?
No

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Gavy Oesmanto (he/him) – Eyes Peeled Coffee – Los Angeles, CA

Coffee used at competition
Produced by Wildan Mustofa in West Java, Indonesia, grown at 1,500masl, and comprised of five different coffee varieties blended post-harvest, lacto-fermented, and roasted by Dune Coffee.

Espresso Course
Pulled at 20g in to 40g out for 30 seconds, the espresso has a complex fruit sweetness with notes of cherry, dark rum, and dark chocolate with a medium weight, creamy texture, and long finish.

Milk Course
The cortado-sized milk course incorporates a milk blend of 90% freeze-distilled whole milk and 10% coconut milk for flavors of caramel, coconut flakes, and hazelnut.

Signature Drink
Citrus peel oleo saccharum, lactic fermented milk, orgeat syrup, cold brewed black tea, and Indonesian espresso get blended together for flavors of tangerine, apple juice, and cardamom.

First year competing?
Yes

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Anthony Ragler (he/him) – Black & White Coffee – Wake Forest, NC

Coffee used at competition
A double anaerobic fermented, natural processed Gesha grown by Jose Guillermo at Abu Coffee in the Cañas Verdes region of Boquete, Panama.

Espresso Course
Pulled over frozen spheres at 19g in and 42g out in 25 seconds, the natural Gesha has notes of red cherry, sweet lemon, and peach, with a medium body, silky mouthfeel, and black tea finish.

Milk Course
Cryodesiccated milk gets rehydrated in whole milk in a 1:8 ratio, giving the beverage flavors of milk whipped cream, milk chocolate, and caramel.

Signature Drink
Hyper-chilled espresso, smoked bourbon oleo, fermented green grape juice, sparkling water, and a spritz of sage essence give notes of lime, subtle oak, mojito, ginger, and mint.

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Morgan Eckroth (they/she) – Onyx Coffee Lab – Portland, OR

Coffee used at competition
An anaerobic fermented, natural processed Gesha grown at 1,800masl by Kai Janson on the Janson family farm in Volcan, Panama.

Espresso Course
Strawberry, dark chocolate, grapefruit, lime, and floral and botanical orange blossom.

Milk Course
Combining 75% freeze-distilled whole milk with 25% coconut milk, the Panama Gesha cappuccino has notes of melted dark chocolate ice cream, almond, fresh whipped cream, and coconut white cake.

Signature Drink
Chilled espresso, soy lecithin powder, orange and mango juice, lime juice, and a peach, bergamot, and jasmine infused maple syrup get nitrous emulsified for notes of cream soda, pink Starburst, orange sherbet, and milk chocolate.

First year competing?
No

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Reyna Callejo (she/her) – Olympia Coffee – Seattle, WA

Coffee used at competition
Multiple landrace variety coffees from Daye Bensa in Sidama, Ethiopia, grown at 2,200masl and anaerobic fermented.

Espresso Course
The Ethiopian espresso, pulled into frozen cups, has notes of cooked blackberry, floral lime zest, and 55% milk chocolate, with a light weight, silky mouthfeel, and long slightly dry finish.

Milk Course
A blend of freeze-distilled whole milk, cryodesiccated milk, and non-fat milk combine with espresso for flavors of strawberry milk, butterscotch, and candied nuts.

Signature Drink
Clarified strawberry juice, citric acid, lacto-fermented blueberry syrup, white peach tea, and a float of espresso get poured over ice for notes of apple juice, guava juice, and peach gummy rings.

First year competing?
No

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Frank La (he/him) – Be Bright Coffee – Log Angeles, CA

Coffee used at competition
An anaerobic fermented Ethiopian landrace variety coffee known as Ombligon, grown at 1,900masl by producer Nestor Lasso at Finca El Diviso in Huila, Colombia.

Espresso Course
Notes of tart cherry juice, watermelon candy, raspberry, and dark chocolate, with a medium weight, silky mouthfeel, and lingering finish.

Milk Course
Using evaporated freeze-distilled lactose free milk, the Ombligon-based milk course has notes of chocolate covered raisin, cheesecake, and vanilla malt.

Signature Drink
Chilled espresso, oolong tea and honey clarified coffee milk punch, red seedless grape syrup, and coffee saccharum, all blended together to new flavors of lemon yogurt, white grapefruit, and ginger ale.

First year competing?
No

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Jake McFarland (he/him) – Black & White Coffee – Raleigh, NC

Coffee used at competition
A yeast-inoculated, anaerobic-fermented, thermal-shocked Pacamara variety coffee out of the Huila region of Colombia, both as a washed and a natural.

Espresso Course
Poured over frozen spheres at 19g in and 42g out in 25 seconds, the wash processed espresso has notes of black cherry, sweet lemon, rainier cherry, and 60% dark chocolate.

Milk Course
Using a blend of Cryo-dessicated coconut milk and whole milk, the natural processed Pacamara has notes of black cherry, marshmallow, and dark chocolate.

Signature Drink
Shots of both coffees get added to pineapple juice, isoamyl acetate, and coconut cream, creating new notes of strawberry, banana pudding, milk chocolate, and white chocolate.

First year competing?
No

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Meg Skop (she/her) – The Coffee Movement – San Francisco, CA

Coffee used at competition
A blend of two coffees: an anaerobic natural processed field blend from Kenya and a honey processed, watermelon co-fermented Pink Bourbon from Colombia.

Espresso Course
At 22g in and 52g out, stirred with frozen spoons, the blend has a medium weight, creamy texture, and lingering finish with notes of fresh raspberries, watermelon candy, pineapple juice, and a lingering ruby red grapefruit finish.

Milk Course
Blending 90% Ghost Town Oats oat milk with 10% freeze-dried raw cow’s milk, the milk beverage has notes of strawberries and cream oatmeal, shortbread, and honey granola.

Signature Drink
Raspberry oleo saccharum, botanical tea concentrate, and elderflower tonic compliment the Kenyan espresso to present notes of blackberry jam, tart green apple, a violet florality, with a slight effervescence, and mint in the finish.

First year competing?
No

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Kay Cheon (he/him) – Dune Coffee – Santa Barbara, CA

Coffee used at competition
A natural processed Gesha grown on the Elida Estates by the Lamastus family in Boquete, Panama.

Espresso Course
Rapid chilled over frozen spheres, the Elida Gesha has notes of cherry, tangerine, and dark chocolate, with a creamy texture and a lingering finish.

Milk Course
A cryodesiccated blend of 70% lactose free milk and 30% koji-fermented rice-and-oat milk, the cortado-like beverage has notes of caramel and chocolate ice cream.

Signature Drink
Rapid- and hyperchilled espresso, strawberry, clarified milk, cold brewed aged Taiwanese oolong tea, and instant Gesha get blended, giving notes of guava, watermelon, strawberry, and white peach.

First year competing?
No

Thanks for tuning in today! We’ll be back tomorrow for the Finals of the 2024 US Barista Championship!

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