Today is Thursday, April 4th, which means we’re somehow just one week away from Round 1 of the 2013 United States Barista Championship, happening April 8th-11th in Boston. Your Sprudge Editors will of course be there live to provide our signature wall-to-wall best in the business coverage all weekend long at USBC, so follow us on Twitter @SprudgeLive for play-by-play and stay tuned to Teh Sprudge throughout the weekend for updates. But for now, let’s look back at the road that led us here.

We’re your 2013 SCAA Official Digital Media sponsors, and we take that sponsorship seriously. Only Sprudge has been there in-person to provide live, on-site coverage from all 5 regional events, and we’ve got a treasure chest of content to show for it. This feature is a glimpse back at the very best moments from those events, with pertinent links and some of our favorite pics. There’s even more content to check out at our 2013 competition archive home, “The Road To Melbourne“, not to mention the trove of Twitter history at our @SprudgeLive account. So go ahead and get clicky, share your favorite pics and .gifs around the office, and enjoy the fruits of our toil.

All 6 regional finalists earn an automatic bid into the semi-finals at the 2013 United States Barista Championship. They’ll also be heading to Kenya for the 2013 Cafe Imports Origin Trip. Let’s relive the glory!


lem-butler serbc-finalistsThe 2013 Southeast Regional Barista Competition went down all the way back in late November of 2012, hosted by Batdorf and Bronson in Atlanta, Georgia. This was the first event hosted by B&B at an event space adjacent to their new Dancing Goats Espresso bar at Ponce City Market – a marked improvement from the drab, musty confines of the Atlanta Convention Center, which is showing its age. At 15 competitors, this was by far the smallest field of any 2013 regional, but it produced an enormously competitive and experienced top 6. The win went to Lem Butler, the 4-time regional champion for Counter Culture Coffee in Durham, North Carolina, followed VERY closely by Colin Whitcomb of MADCAP.

Travis Beckett, Peregrine Espresso, DC

2013 SWRBC Sprudge Coverage:



After an extended Super Storm Sandy break between events, competition season continued in Kansas City, Missouri at the 2013 Big Central Regional Barista Competition, hosted by Kaldi’s Coffee Roasters and PT’s Coffee Roasters. Massive yet intimate, with 25 (!) competitors on the first day alone, the BCRBC field was jam-packed with talented performances and memorable moments. We’re especially proud of the photography featured in our coverage of this event, shot for Sprudge by Kansas City’s own Charlie Burt. Charlie will be joining us in Boston for USBC!


With two distinct regions – the North Central and South Central – come two distinct winners: Charlie Habegger of Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea for the North, and 2011 USBC Champion Pete Licata of Parisi Coffee for the South.


2013 BCRBC Sprudge Coverage:

Round 1, Day 1
Round 1, Day 2
Essays and photos from Finals Sunday
Pete Licata Wins the South Central!
Charlie Habegger Takes The North Central!



nwrbc-finalistsOnce the ancestral home of North American competitive coffee, today the Northwest Region is just another hotly competitive weekend in the USBC regional cycle. The 2013 NWRBC was hosted by Dillanos Coffee Roasters, and drew a field of 18 fierce competitors to an event space at the southernmost edge of Seattle’s gritty SoDo industrial district. There were carbonated strawberries, wobbly glassware, bright neon colors, and all manners of dramatic lighting and fog effects. This event produced the barista competition of a photo finish, as Coava Coffee’s Devin Chapman edged out Cole McBride of Visions Espresso Supply by a miniscule one-point margin.

2013 NWRBC Sprudge Coverage:

Round One Rompabout – Day One
Round One Royal Rumpus – Day Two
[Video] Interviews With All 6 NWRBC Finalists
Devin Chapman Wins It!



nerbc-finalistsThis year’s NERBC was originally scheduled to happen in Atlantic City, but Superstorm Sandy had different plans. Eventually rescheduled for late February, the event was hosted by Dallis Bros. Coffee at the Attic Studios facility in Long Island City, Queens. The event drew 24 competitors from as far away as Columbus, Ohio, yet all but one finalist hailed from right there in New York City – the lone exception being the charming and personable Brian Gelletly, from Ultimo Coffee in Philadelphia. Everyman Espresso’s Sam Lewontin turned heads with his finals finish back in 2012, and came back strong to win the whole thing in Queens, cementing his position as an early favorite to make finals at USBC in Boston. But we’re gonna be real: NERBC was the fiercest field of all the 2013 regionals, and you could see all of these competitors back again on Semi-Finals Saturday.

2013 NERBC Sprudge Coverage:

The Realness of Day One
The Ecstasy of Day Two
The Drama of Finals Sunday
Sam Lewontin: A City’s Champ



swrbc-finalistsThe last event of the 2013 Regional cycle was also the grooviest. There’s just something kind of…mellow about Santa Cruz, California, and the community vibe and public appreciation of good coffee is tied into Verve Coffee Roasters’ host duties in a big way. No other regional offered nearby walks on the beach, and no other regional featured an all-night Saved By The Bell themed dance party. Bravo, Verve. And bravo as well to Intelligentsia, who brought home their second 2013 regional win with competitor Eden-Marie Abramowicz. Ms. Abramowicz was the only regional winner to have never before placed in a regional final, but she’s no Cinderella – her routine was one of the most engaging and intuitive we’ve seen all year. Expect a packed house when she’s back on stage for USBC semi-finals.

2013 SWRBC Sprudge Coverage:

Tweets and .GIFs from Day One
The Best of Day Two
The Noble Top Six
Eden-Marie Abramowicz Wins!

And that’s it! We’ll see you in Boston for live, exhaustive coverage of the United States Barista Championship.’s coverage of the 2013 USBC regional & national cycle is made possible by direct support from Nuova Simonelli. Our Regional Barista Competition coverage was made possible by direct support from Batdorf and Bronson, Dallis Bros. Coffee, Verve Coffee Roasters, Dillanos Coffee Roasters, PT’s Coffee Roasters, and Kaldi’s Coffee Roasters.