You asked for it! At this year’s US Coffee Championships Qualifying Event, the coverage team over at our sister site Sprudge Live took photos and notes of every competitor at the Brewers Cup, a coffee competition that highlights the art of hand-brewed coffee. We’ve been profiling folks one by one over the last few weeks on Sprudge Live, and now we’re gathering them together here on the Sprudge main page for yer’ viewing pleasure.

Our coverage of the 2016 US Coffee Championships Qualifying Event is sponsored by Urnex Brands—they’ll be supporting us through all of our global coffee competition coverage this year on Sprudge Media Network. Thanks Urnex!


Benjamin Lytle, Novel Coffee Roasters, Dallas, TX–158.32


Whoa! Benjamin Lytle was the bigger winner at the Western Conference, but his victory came by just .23 points. That’s close! Lytle competed using the TORCH Mountain Brewer, brewing up Novel Coffee’s Ethiopia Duromina. Learn more about Benjamin Lytle’s big win here at Sprudge Live!

Justin Goodhart, Sweet Bloom Coffee, Lakewood, CO–158.09


Just a slight scooch behind Ben Lytle, Justin Goodhard came this close to winning the Western Conference at Brewers Cup. The man brewed up a lil’ bit of Cero Azul Gesha coffee from Colombia, roasted up by two-time US Brewers Cup champion Andy Sprenger of Sweet Bloom Coffee. Get all the deets on Justin Goodhart’s valiant silver medal finish.

Jacob White, Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, San Diego, CA–156.66


Jacob White rocked a Kalita Wave 185 (ceramic edition) on the Brewers Cup stage, where he brewed up some surely-tasty natural Panama Geisha. These coffees have quite a history of success on the competition stage! Go deep on Jacob White’s third place finish over on SprudgeLive.

Chris Pradzinski, Intelligentsia, Los Angeles, CA–156.07


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Chris Pradzinski’s top six placement at the Brewers Cup came as part of a huge week in Kansas City for Intelligentsia Coffee, who fielded multiple Brewers Cup and Barista Competition top finishers—none bigger than Ashley Elander, who placed third overall in the hotly competitive Barista Competition Eastern Conference. On the Brewers Cup stage, Chris Pradzinski brewed up some tasty Red Bourbon from noted Colombian coffee producer Camilo Merizalde

James Gibbs, Allegro Coffee Roasters, Berkeley, CA–156


Fan favorite James Gibbs of Allegro Coffee turned in a crisp performance at Brewers Cup qualifiers, using the classic Hario V60 ceramic cone and brewing up some tasty Ninety Plus Panama Gesha Perci Pinnacle. Looking good, James! 

Alexander Choppin, Olympia Coffee Roasting Co., Olympia, WA–155.68


Alexander Choppin, of the great and competition-success-rich Olympia Coffee Roasting Company, brewed using a Kalita Wave—the same brewer they use in Oly Coffee’s cafes. Check out more coverage of his brew-down here! 


Jenny Bonchak, Slingshot Coffee Co., Raleigh, NC–159.56


The winner out of the Eastern Conference? None other than Jenny Bonchak, proprietor and founder of Slingshot Coffee Company in Raleigh, North Carolina. Bonchak brewed up on the classic Bonmac ceramic kettle, selecting a washed coffee from Panama roasted by Counter Culture Coffee. Worth noting: Bonchak is married to Jonathan Bonchak, himself a two-time Brewers Cup regional winner, making them the first husband & wife Brewers Cup regional champs in US history! Read more about her winning routine here.

Michael Schroeder, Oddly Correct, Kansas City, MO–159.22


Hometown hero Michael Schroeder scored the highest placement of any Kansas City competitor at the 2016 US Coffee Championships Qualifying Event. Brewing on a Kalita Wave, Schroeder served up two very different coffees to the judges: Kenya SL28 Cundina Marca & Colombia La Palma y El Toucan. Read more about his winning routine here.

Richard Cummins, Underline Coffee, New York, NY–156.46


Another Gesha-wielding, Wave-utilizing competitor here at the Brewers Cup, Richard Cummins of Underline Coffee earned a top three placement in the super competitive Eastern Conference, with barely 3 point separating him from the winner. You can learn more about his bronzed routine via Sprudge Live.

Jenna Gotthelf, Everyman Espresso, New York, NY–155.66


Get yer Gesha goin’, Gotthelf! A fan favorite over the years for delivering imaginative, frequently hilarious barista competition performances, Jenna Gotthelf showed well on the Brewers Cup stage, making use of a Kalita Wave and some tasty Counter Culture Gesha. You’ll want to read more about this one. 

John Quinn, Steadfast Coffee, Nashville, TN–155.23


A Gino dripper and Acaia scale set anchored this fifth place routine from John Quinn of Steadfast Coffee, who brewed up—you guessed it!—another Gesha coffee, this time from Cerro Azul in Colombia, roasted up by Steadfast. We had a nice big feature on Steadfast just a few short months ago on Sprudge—check that out, then dig in to more from Quinn’s routine.

Ryan McDermott, Intelligentsia, Chicago, IL–155.09


The only company to field top six finishers in both conferences, Intelligentsia’s big week at US Coffee Champs finished up nicely with a sixth place Eastern Conference finish for Ryan McDermott, who brewed using an Eva Solo brewer—the only Eva Solo appearance in the top six of either conference. McDermott poured his Eva Solo brew through a layer of glass beads placed on top of a paper filter clad Hario V60—about as unusual of a brew method as you’re likely to find in this competition. Learn more in our Ryan McDermott spotlight feature on Sprudge Live.’s US Brewers Cup Competition Qualifying Event coverage was produced by Elizabeth Chai for Sprudge Media Network. Read more coverage from the USCC QE over on, sponsored by Urnex Brands.


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