Sprudge.com, the Internet’s only coffee website, had a chance to sit down with two of this year’s most exciting USBC competitors, Laila Ghambari and Mike Marquard. Laila works at BARISTA in Portland, whom she represented while competing her way to the Bronze Medal at this year’s NWRBC. Mike Marquard won the MWRBC a few months back, representing Kaldi’s Coffee out of St. Louis. Here’s what they had to say:

Sprudge: What coffees / from what roaster / will you be using during your performance this year? Is it available online? Can I buy some right now?

Mike: Colombia Monserrate “Lo Mejor de Monserrate” competition winner from Kaldi’s Coffee. It will be available online again in May at kaldiscoffee.com – we had to hold off because we were getting low and didn’t know if we’d have enough to last through the competition.

Laila:  The fine people at Stumptown Coffee Roasters has made me up a 2 bean blend of the Ecuador Quilanga Reserva and the Ethiopia Worka. You can buy the Quilanga Reserva right now online, or at the cafes.

Sprudge: What will you be doing for your signature beverage?

M: Making delicious concoctions – watch to see it.
L:  My sig drink is a spin on an old school egg white cocktail. Giving the drink texture rather than adding flavor.

Sprudge: Who do you think is going to win the USBC? Do you think you’re America’s Next Top Barista?

M: I’d be lame/a liar if I didn’t think I was going to win. My hands are too pruned to do this for fun anymore.

L: I would love to see Pete Licata win it. I think this is my time to gain experience and learn from those who have been doing this much longer than me.

Sprudge: Here a few rapid fire questions for you two…ready? Whole or Skim?

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L & M: Whole

Sprudge: Cupping or Roasting?

L & M: Cupping

Sprudge: “Gesha” or “Geisha”?

M: Naturals

L: Geisha

Sprudge: Hoffmann or Hiroshi?

L & M: Hoffman

Sprudge: Singles or Doubles?

M: Singles

L: Doubles

Sprudge: Cho or Brewtbart?

M: Brewtbart

L: Silence

Sprudge: Banana latte or chocolate mochaccino?

L & M: Chocolate mochaccino!

Sprudge: Bolo ties or suspenders?

M: Suspenders


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