Here it is! A complete look back at Day One from Round One at the 2013 United States Barista Championship. Photos by Sprudge.com special photo correspondent Charlie Burt (KCMO native, on Twitter as @tiger_friend). Sprudge.com’s 2013 United States Barista Championship coverage is made possible by direct support from our partners at Counter Culture Coffee and Nuova Simonelli.
Lots more where this came from, so stick with Sprudge all weekend for our best-in-the-business coverage of the USBC, and follow @SprudgeLive on Twitter for play-by-play!
1. Mike Morgenstern, Joe Coffee, NYC
9:18 “we spend 8 hours a day in our cafes – but our customers might spend only 5” – surely he means 5 minutes, not hours. it’s early.
9:25 “i think of cappuccinos as a comforting beverage…take both of your hands to bring it to your mouth” – Mr. Morgenstern’s capps come with notes of “peanut butter cereal”…and a side of Man Candy.
9:33 sig drink is called ‘the front porch’ – an americano with green coffee distillate and 6 minute roast spray.
2. Charles Babinski, G&B, Los Angeles
9:38 “espresso is any wondrous thing that comes out of that machine over there”
9:46 “our idea of what espresso is changes to suit the beverage it’s in” – Charles is pulling 70 grams out for his signature drink! “espresso as a canvas”, pairing that long shot w/ orange blossom honey; then a 30 gram shot w/ pom juice & sparkling water
3. Wolfgang Schaefer, Alterra Coffee Roasters, Milwaukee
9:55 “I gotta do some stuff first. i gotta take care of some biz. we’re gonna get to the coffee stuff but I gotta move fast.”
9:56 “david bowie is gonna help me. he’s an old professor of mine…we did a lot of flight studies together.”
9:57 mr. schaefer competes using
@AlterraCoffee‘s Kenya Mukurwe – “meyer lemon, apples & peaches, spicy like cardamom
10:02 “be grateful for everything you have. shut up and eat the damn lemon.”
10:03 “doing this is such a treat i think. or it’s really scary and daunting. man, this is gonna come down to the wire.”
10:05 sig drink: peach lemon honey emulsification, espresso w/ calcium salt, spherification! “coffee meringue egg yolk”, or “lemon meringue space coffee”
10:07 “HAVE FUN SPACE COFFEE TIME!” – our faces hurt from smiling and laughing so much.
4. Jonathen Liu, Cognoscenti Coffee, Los Angeles
10:30 mr. liu’s shop
@cogcoffee is one of our very favorite in Los Angeles – great multiroaster in the Culver City neighborhood
10:40 mr. liu calls time at 14 flat
5. Brenna Kail, Intelligentsia Coffee, Chicago
10:59 “today we’re going to start at the end – more importantly, the finish.”
11:01 ms. kail competes at using @Intelligenstia’s Colombia Tres Santos – click here for more info plz k thanks.
11:04 espresso: tart blueberry, fresh lemon zest, toffee zest – “lingering finish, low viscosity in the body”
11:13 ms. kail’s sig drink: caramel & tarragon sauce, Colombia Tres Santos espresso, blueberry & lemon zest simple syrup – two distinct sig drinks here from ms. kail – both set in gorgeous simple thin-stemmed glassware
6. Mickey Commerford III, Alterra Coffee Roasters, Milwaukee
11:25 amaretto pastry notes in Mr. Commerford’s cappuccinos – shouts out Eileen’s Bakery near Buffalo as his inspiration
11:29 mr. commerford made his own amaretto paste for sig drink at
#USBC – apricot kernals, confectioners sugar, whisked w/ espresso
11:32 mickey is a lot of fun to watch live – sort of guru-like, everything just so, and tons of perosnality
7. Travis Beckett, Peregrine Espresso, Washington DC
11:42 mr. beckett competes w/ “the modern classic espresso” – 50% Nueva llusta and 50% Buf Cafe natural, by
@counter_culture. Your Sprudge Editors visited Buf Cafe in Rwanda last summer with – read our trip report!
11:46 capuccino notes: ‘”black fig, unrefined honey, and graham cracker”
11:49 mr. beckett’s signature drink is a riff on the “classic american soda” – fizzy bubbles! who doesn’t love fizzy bubbles?
11:54 “this isn’t going to be like a commercial soda pop, full of fake sugars”
8. Nick Purvis, The French Press, Santa Barbara, CA
11:58 “one of my greatest passions is turning Flavor Seekers into Flavor Understanders” – Nick Purvis
12:04 mr. purvis competes using Verve Coffee Roasters Colombia Los Naranjos
12:06 Nick Purvis has got a citrus reamer on stage. he’s reaming. juice reaming. “it’s absolutely delicious you guys”
12:11 Purvis sig drink: caramelized tangerine juice, red apple juice, & liquified cheesecake (marscapone, cold extracted coffee, cacao)
9. Tamara Vigil, Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, NYC
12:22 ms. vigil competes using
@irvingfarm‘s Orlando Osa, from Huila, Colombia – a 300 pound microlot
12:24 “some of my favorite coffees this year have been caturra, known for unique acidity and spice”
12:27 dominant cappuccino note: “chocolate pudding pop.” PUDDIN’!
12:31 there’s a cool kind of “educator” vibe in
@tamakinsneb‘s stage presence – like a (rare) excellent grad student lecturer
12:35 ms. vigil calls time at 15:47
10. Logan Demmy, One Line Coffee, Columbus, OH
12:41 mr. Demmy’s routine is cupping-focused – each of his drinks are a riff on the cupping process
12:47 mr. demmy is hustling through a timer malfunction, time check delays – maintaining composure
11. Frank La, Cafe Dulce, Los Angeles
1:11 “to me as a barista, this moment here is a launchpad – this is what I do.” –
@flalessinhim calls time at 15:35
12. Anne Cooper, Dallis Bros. Coffee, NYC
1:16 Anne is the roaster at
@dalliscoffee – her specialty coffee CV goes back 20 years and begins in Brisbane
1:17 this is a mirrored routine of Anne‘s routine at NERBC – same script, same Australian Mountain Top coffee
1:18 Mountain Top espresso: 36 hour fermenation, dried mechanically at low temps for 72 hours. Learn more about Australia’s Mountain Top Estate, from whence Anne’sBin 478 coffee originates:
1:20 hops, grape juice, mashed clementines, espresso, ice – an “espresso beer” with “hops a’hopping”
1:21 tiny beer mugs! Anne makes a 5th sig drink for herself to cheers alongside the judges
13. Ryan Redden, Portola Coffee Lab, Costa Mesa, CA
1:36 simplicity vs. complexity in this routine – multiple vessels, dry ice, and yet…a simple red gingham table cloth
1:42 sig drink = liquid nitrogen affogato – not exactly simple, but at least he didn’t bring the cryogenic tank on stage
14. Robert Stofleth, Visions Espresso Service, Seattle
1:53 mr. stofleth’s routine focused around how choices and intentionality in the supply chain impact cup quality.
1:56 mr. stofleth’s coffee: Bolivia CENAPROC cooperative – 34 different producer components, caturra & typica, 1500-1800 meter “clean fruit flavors – cherry & raisin – with a soft, balancing acidity”
1:59 mr. stofleth’s sig drink includes “cherry caramel” – cherries reduced until becoming caramel like, diluted to an espresso texture. Those “cherry caramels” are added to blanched almonds, almond powder, brown sugar, and orange blossom water
2:07 “coffee quality is like a game of telephone. if one person drops then quality coffee is not possible.”
15. David Fasman, Kaldi’s Coffee, St. Louis, MO
2:13 “tasting espresso hot is like trying to look at a painting with sunglasses on.” – GREAT script man
2:22 mr. fasman’s sig drink: muddle dried fig juice, black grape juice, cold brew
@kaldis_coffee Bolivia Bolinda, espresso, nitrous charge
16. Evan Collier, Flat Black Coffee Company, Boston
2:36 mr. collier is the only Bostonian competing here at
2:38 “there are things we can do to increase the potential of Yemen while still honoring its traditions”
2:42 “Yemeni coffee is provincial, rustic, exotic, dynamic, never boring, and unforgettable”
17. Matthew Scott, Lemonjello’s Coffee, Holland, MI
2:54 “super sweet, orange peel citrus, and a butterscotch finish – syrupy round body” — Matthew on his espressos
3:02 “creamy rich body, a honey sweetness, and a little bit of that butterscotch” – butterscotch realness from mr. scott &
18. Camila Ramos, Panther Coffee, Miami
3:13 Camila routine is progressing from cup to origin – we won’t know the name of the coffee she’s using til the end.
3:15 hey it’s a mypressi twist – Camila using it with cascara tea to extract coffee for her sig drink
3:20 ms. ramos talking the judges through maillard reaction, mimicking roasting notes with jasmine, sugar, & citrus
3:23 ms. ramos competes using a coffee from Rwanda’s Buramera region, roasted by
19. Trevor Corlett, MadCap Coffee Roasters, Washington, DC
3:32 “almond, sweet pastry, bittersweet chocolate, and a really round, really sweet finish”
3:39 sig drink for
@tjorlet = layered shots. bottom layer, new harvest with grapefruit. top layer, older harvest w/ maple syrup & egg white
20. Cara Zebroski, Coffee Labs Roasters, Tarrytown, NY
3:51 Cara Zebroski competes using a coffee from the Roatan region in Honduras, the first-ever “Direct Trade” coffee for
3:57 fudgy, bittersweet chocolate Honduran espressos from Cara Zeborski &
4:03ms. zebroski’s sig drink is an homage to spanish and italian coffee traditions “delicate, floral, just plain glorious”
21. Talya Strader, Bow Truss Coffee Roasters, Chicago
4:07 “specialty coffee has gotten big! we no longer have to plan our vacations around where to find good coffee.”
4:08 ms. strader’s routine mimics (at least conceptually) her BCRBC routine – 3 unique coffees from 3 separate roasters.
4:15 ms. strader’s 2nd coffee = Yirgacheffe from Chicago’s own
@BowTruss – capps with strawberry shortcake & neopolitan ice cream