2012 United States Barista Championship Day One

Here’s a look back at Day 1 of the 2012 United States Barista Championship, in Portland, Oregon. Our coverage is powered all weekend on by direct support from Stumptown Coffee Roasters.

1. Tyler Stevens, Barista, PDX

9:21am @tyler_stevens competes using colombia piramide reserva from @stumptowncoffee – “clarity and cleanliness”

2. Ann Schneider, Sterling Coffee Roasters, PDX

9:39 up next is ann schenider (@sterling_ann) of sterling pdx – she works for sterling & its twin lode star, coffeehouse nw #usbc2012

9:41 both collin (@sterling_collin) and ann (@sterling_ann) competed in today’s #usbc2012 – the first ever husband-and-wife team at nationals

3. Charlie Habegger, Intelligentsia, Chicago

10:07 scent cup flips, coriander infusion, orange peel infusion, old-school funk, judgely encouragement: @brainofcharlie = uber dextrous

10:11 @brainofcharlie was the 2nd place finisher in a tough field at north central regionals – also he’s rocking the deep-cut Prince

4. Stacey Wieck, MadCap Coffee Roasters, Grand Rapids, MI

10:20 translated into the Michiganese dialect, Stacey Wieck means: “Full of smiles”. srsly she looks so genuinely happy on stage

10:23 stacey of @madcap drops 1st MOO-ville dairy reference of #usbc2012. BCRBC was a master class in MOO-ville.”MOO-ville” is the correct syntax.

10:29 sig drink: plums, spices & limes – black cherry concentrate & hot water infused with plums, lime, apple – paired with espresso

5. Sam Lewontin, Everyman Espresso, NYC

*.gif note: Mr. Lewontin’s timer malfunctioned during his routine, meaning that his 15 minutes ran from 15:00 to 29:59. The above .gif is Sam calling “time”, within his allotted time, precisely as the clock strikes 30:00.

10:37 Mr. Lewontin competes w/ milk overnighted from battenkill (NY) & @counter_culture‘s el gavilan (ecuador) / tairora cherry project (PNG)

10:40 instead of using demitasse spoons, he’s using 8 tiny sporks made by his machinist father. #usbc2012 #sporks

10:45 sig drink talk-through: take first spoon, stir espresso, use spoon to sip – take second spoon, stir peach & lemon nectar, sip – then combine

6. Jen Macias, Cartel Coffee Lab, Phoenix

10:51 but wait, there’s more! up next is jen macias of @cartelcoffeelab, bringing the desert of PHX to the rain of PDX

10:53 jen macias of @cartelcoffeelab competes w/ two coffees from el salvador – pacamara, catuai & bourbon – one washed, one semi-washed

7. Timothy Graham, Victrola Coffee, Seattle

11:10 up next – timothy graham (@TRGmusic) of seattle’s own @victrolacoffee #usbc2012 – his routine is cupping-table focused

11:20 mr. graham @trgmusic comeptes using @victrolacoffee‘s rwanda abakundakawa – learn more here via @sweetmarias http://sweetmarias.com/rwandaduhingekawa/RwandaDuhingekawa.html #usbc2012


8. Matthew Scott, Lemonjello’s Coffee, Holland, MI

11:41 “we get to the point of looking down on people who put cream & sugar in their coffee – i think it’s done for a reason”

11:43 matt of @lemonjello builds a series of sig drinks w/ cream, sugar, & brewed coffee in a clever dripper – refreshingly proletarian

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9. Jordan Barber, Intelligentsia, NYC 

11:58 mr. barber competes using an organic processed coffee from @eccocaffe – bolivia hipolito

12:03 @barber_jordan is so confident on stage “i do this every day. i like making coffee” wouldn’t be shocked to see this routine again

10. Annie McGee, Ritual Coffee Roasters, San Francisco

12:12 Ms. Mcgee’s “two of hearts” music selection has taken hold, and won’t let go. can’t. stop. dancing. in the bleachers.

12:16 annie competes using colombia huila caturra grown at 1650 meters, roasted by @ritualcoffee

11. Emily Jackson, Batdorf & Bronson, Olympia, WA 

12:40 emily jackson of @batdorfcoffee made adorable placemats, roasted her own coffee, and focused on cupping terms

12. Brett Felchner, Barista, PDX

12:43 mr. felchner competes using @sightglass rwanda kibuye gitese @brettboywonder #usbc2012 – “welcome to pdx, this is where i live, work & play”

13. Jonathan Miller, Kaldi’s Coffee Roasters, St. Louis

1:02 mr. miller of @kaldis_coffee was a finalist in the south central region, one of 3 kaldi’s finalists – they’re out in force at #usbc2012

14. Park Brannen, Handsome Coffee Roasters, NYC  

1:19 for his #usbc2012 routine, @jparkbrannen competes using @handsomeroaster rwanda abakundakawa – learn more here: http://www.handsomecoffee.com/products/abakundakawa

1:30 talks judges through his sig drinks – sweetness, acidity and bitterness – skimmed spro, brewed coffee, tonic water

15. Alan Gomez, Portola Coffee Lab, Costa Mesa, CA

1:47 a tough routine for alan gomez @portolacoffee – problems pulling shots, calls time at 10:15


16. Sam Brown, Alterra Coffee, Milwaukee, WI

2:02 sam competes with @alterracoffee‘s guatemala hunapu – “wonderful aromatics, sweet cherry notes” #usbc2012 – learn more here

2:08 like his bcrbc routine, sam of @alterracoffee makes a cherry consomme, with sparkling water & espresso, sipped through red vines

17. Tom Pikaart, Water Avenue Coffee, PDX

2:17 tom of @wateravecoffee goes for espressos with spicy woody cinnamon stick, lemon candy, and sweet potato / yam notes

2:20 “i spent about 1000 hours on this so i could nail it for you guys” – tom pikaart of @wateravecoffee on his milk pour

2:26 tom starts with a “hop soda” – 12 hour cascade hops soaked, then carbonated-  “it’s so good, we’ll just start with that by itself”

2:28 tom’s sig drink continued: he then pours a shot of espresso over a sugar cube, and adds that to the hops soda – sounds awesome

18. Collin Schneider, Sterling Coffee Roasters, PDX

2:34 both collin (@sterling_collin) and ann (@sterling_ann) competed in today’s #usbc2012 – the first ever husband-and-wife team at nationals

2:36 confident, professional routine from collin – he was a NWRBC finalist for good reason

19. Trevor Corlett, MadCap Coffee Roasters, DC  

3:00 trevor switches hoppers with an iron will, seems even more poised and pro than he was in atlanta. go @tjorlet, go.

3:04 trevor corlett (@tjorlet) competes using @madcap colombia san sebastian (imported by @cafeimports) and brazil fazenda rainha

20. Lizzy Sampson, Verve Coffee Roasters, Santa Cruz, CA

3:12 lizzy’s routine is a mirror to her routine at swrbc – equal split in brand new routines and mirrored routines from regionals at

3:18 lizzy’s poise not limited to santa cruz – equally on-point and impressive here in pdx

3:19 lizzy’s routine offers 3 distinct traceability narratives, highest to lowest, blending together & focusing on taste

3:25 “quality translates into scrumptious flavors in your cup.” – lizzy sampson, @vervecoffee

21. Sam Penix, Everyman Espresso, NYC 

3:32 sam @everymanNY competes with el salvador finca mauritania grown by @aidabatle – aida is front row center for sam’s performance

3:42 his coffees processed in kenyan & indonesian styles: “when i drink these coffees i think about risk & attention to detail”

22. Chris Gaoiran, Alexander’s Steakhouse, Cupertino, CA

3:48 up next, it’s @_cappsized competing for alexander’s steakhouse in cupertino, california – he’s 22 out of 25 today at #usbc2012

23. Nick Purvis, The French Press, Santa Barbara, CA

4:06 we’re still cruising people. still. cruising. up next is hunky nick purvis of @lefrenchpress in santa barbara, california

4:13 mr. purvis of @lefrenchpress competes using @vervecoffee‘s honduras aguacatal – learn more here

4:19 nick purvis of @lefrenchpress: “how do i add components of my choosing to a coffee that tastes so good by itself?”

24. Alfonso “Fonzy” Portela, Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters, Sacramento, CA

4:27 learn more about mr. portela’s roaster and cafe here: http://chocolatefishcoffee.com/ – bringing a new zealand ethos to sacramento and #usbc2012

4:29 “the flavors in this espresso did not happen by accident” – alfonso portela, @chocfishcoffee

4:39 fonzy makes an extra sig drink for himself: “when i’m talking about espresso with my friends, i like to enjoy it with them”

25. Charles Babinski, Intelligentsia, LA

4:41 last competitor of the day is some guy named @charlesbabinski – he works for a small, obscure mid-west roaster

4:43 @charlesbabinski does a little kangaroo hop towards the judges to start his routine at #usbc2012 #adorable

4:46 @intelligentsia takesi is bolivian coffee grown at outrageous heights – scarce and priced as such. for more click here

4:48 there’s serious and vocal contingent of @charlesbabinski fans watching his routine at #usbc2012– it’s the post-#symp2012 cognoscenti

4:56 @charlesbabinski somehow even more composed and collected than he was in santa cruz – dude is a real prize pony. #usbc2012 @intelligentisa

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