It’s been strange days so far for the 2013 United States Barista Championship competition cycle, with the kick-off event – the Northeast Regional Barista Competition – postponed due to complications from Super Storm Sandy. USBC regional action will finally get under way next week at the Southeast Regional Barista Competition in Atlanta, hosted by Batdorf and Bronson and featuring top barista talent from throughout the American south. Moments ago, broke the news that dates and a site have been confirmed for the second round of regional competition, the Big Central Regional, to be held in Kansas City starting on January 18th and sponsored by Kaldi’s Coffee and PT’s Coffee.

Out here in the Pacific Northwest region, this year’s NWRBC event is slated for mid-February, and will be sponsored by Dillanos Coffee Roasters – more event details available soon. In advance preparation for NWRBC 2013 we were approached by Barista Guild of America chapter rep Laila Ghambari, with the idea of teaming up to create an innovative series of competition prep events. Sponsors and hosts have now been confirmed, and so we’re delighted to announce that we’ll be throwing a series of NWRBC prep events in concert with the BGA. It’s our sincere hope that these events will serve to educate and help elevate the level of competition at this year’s NWRBC.

The first prep event happens Friday, January 4th at Visions Espresso Service (2737 First Avenue South). The event will feature a mock competition routine from seasoned competitor Sarah Dooley, of La Marzocco USA. She’ll be scored by a team of certified competition judges, who will make their expertise and insight available to all attendees. The event kicks off at 5pm and goes until 8pm. There will be beer.

The second event happens in Portland, Oregon on the following evening, Saturday, January 5th at the American Barista and Coffee School (1028 SE Water Ave.) Your mock competition performer will be Laila Ghambari, of Caffe Ladro. The event kicks off at 5pm, and again, there will be beer.

advert but first coffee cookbook now available


Following each routine, judges will give their feedback to the competitor in front of a live audience. Audience members will have the chance to ask questions and receive rule clarification from our competitors and the expert panel of judges, including Marcus Young, a sitting USBC Head Judge. The goal for these events is education, fun, and an advancement of the sport / professional development exercise / whatever the hell these barista competitions we love so much actually “are”. Ooh and also, in a dream come true turn of events, your editors will be on the microphone to fake-MC each routine. Let’s hear it for that first set of espressos!

NWRBC PrepFest is made possible by an awesome roster of sponsors:

Nuova Simonelli will have their competition-standard T3 Aurelia on hand at both events, plus staff from Nuova Simonelli North America will be there to answer questions and offer tips.

Mahlköenig are providing a competition-standard K-30 grinder for use at both events.

Sunshine Dairy are graciously donating their quality milk products for use during cappuccino time.

Visions and the ABC School are donating their space and time, so let’s hear it for our host sponsors!

Caffe Ladro is hooking both events up with coffee for use in the routines (and also for your drinking enjoyment).

These events are free and open to the public! We’ll see you on January 4th and 5th  – learn more and RSVP on Facebook! Seattle event is listed here, and the Portland event is listed here.


banner advertising the book new rules of coffee