This weekend, the US Coffee Championships descend upon Nashville, Tennessee for the year’s biggest Qualifying Event. As the only event to feature all five disciplines—Barista Championship, Brewers Cup, Coffee in Good Spirits, Cup Tasters, and Roasters Championship—Nashville will be home to the biggest showing of coffee professionals, and as such, the host of some of the biggest parties.
As those who have attended this level of coffee competition in the past (and as the first timers will surely find out rather quickly), the festivities don’t end when the Track One events center locks the door. They’ve only just begun. Coffee comps are a marathon run of competition, party, post-party, and sleep(?). Lather, rinse, repeat, until you’re slouching back home to your part of the country.
To make sure you’ve been thoroughly run through the ringer, we here at Sprudge have compiled a list of all the goings on this weekend in Nashville. Please use responsibly and remember to stay hydrated.
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Friday, January 10
Latte Art Throwdown at Retrograde Coffee: Join Retrograde along with sponsors Onyx Coffee Lab, Amavida Coffee, Fellow Products, and Barista Magazine as they kick things off with a good old fashioned throwdown. There’s a cash prize for the winner as well as sponsor prizes, food, drinks, quizzes and music. The event is free to attend and $5 to compete. Sign-ups are happening now!
7:00pm at Retrograde Coffee. 1305 Dickerson Pike, Nashville, TN 37207
Let’s Pour Latte Art Workshop: Want to learn the ins and outs of pouring latte art from a pro? This may just be the event for you. Slow Pour Supply and Rancilio have invited Coffee Fest champion, Hong Kong Latte Art Championship Head Judge, and World Latte Art Championship finalist coach Ivy Lky to come and teach attendees about the differences between “service pours to compound pattern pours” as well as “demonstrate some fundamental but important differences between these two styles.” Lky will also teach some “staple patterns which are commonly utilized in compound patterns,” including the “cup holding technique, pattern placement, flow control, and other essential skills to achieve these pours.” The event is free to attend and there is currently a waitlist for one of the 16 hands-on training slot. Both can be signed up for via Eventbrite.
7:00pm at Humphreys Street Coffee. 424 Humphreys St, Nashville, TN 37203
Latte Art Throwdown at Crema: If you can’t get enough artistic displays of milk into espresso, head on over to Crema for a throwdown benefitting the Safe Haven Family Shelter. The cash-only throwdown is free to attend and $5 to compete, with a $200 cash prize going to the winner as well as a host of raffle prizes provided by local sponsors.
730pm at Crema. 15 Hermitage Ave, Nashville, TN 37204
Saturday, January 11
Mystery Box Throwdown by Glitter Cat: Do you ever watch Chopped or the signature beverage portion of a Barista Championship and think to yourself, “I could do that!” Well, here’s your chance to prove it. Taking place at Stay Golden, Glitter Cat Barista Bootcamp is hosting “a boozy with on a traditional throwdown.” Participants will be given a mystery box full of ingredients and they will be tasked with creating the tastiest espresso-based beverage. But it’s more than just a mix-off. There’s a throwdown, where “people from Small World Yoga and SafPaw will be paired up with a Nashville barista to throwdown for money raised via pay-as-you-wish admission.” There’s a Pacific Foods box building event where all in attendance can help put together boxes of food to be donated to local school districts. And there’s just a straight up party. “Let’s relax, give friends compliments, and get covered in glitter.”
6:30pm at Stay Golden. 2934 Sidco Dr #130, Nashville, TN 37204
US Latte Art Championship Exploration Booth: Taking place both Saturday and Sunday at the TrackOne event center, Rancilio and Slow Pour Supply are teaming up to drum up a little excitement for the US Latte Art Championship. Open to all, participants will be asked to match two pour designs “similar to those used on the world stage.” The designs will be released in advance via Rancilio‘s and Slow Pour Supply‘s Instagram accounts, so you’re going to want to make sure you practice up. The pours will be judged using Latte Art Championship visual standards, and the winner will take home a brand new Rancilio espresso machine. Other top pours will earn themselves a Slow Pour Supply Goodie Bag “including a USLAC Special Edition Milk Pitcher.”
All day Saturday and Sunday at the Track One Events Center. 1201 4th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37210
CoffeeChamps Official After Party: Why wait until the event is over to celebrate it? Frothy Monkey is teaming up with Jackalope Brewing for the official CoffeeChamps after party that will include food provided by Frothy Monkey, beer by Jackalope, taproom tours, food trucks, and games. The event is open to the public and free with your CoffeeChamps wristband.
6:00pm at Jackalope Brewing. 429B Houston St, Nashville, TN 37203
Coffee & Karaoke: Join Dose and Blanchard’s as the team up for a night of drinks, snacks, and very good singing. The free event is open to all and is sure to be a good time spent with coffee friends (and only a few incriminating videos of very good singing).
7:00pm at Dose. 1400 McGavock Pk, Nashville, TN 37216
Sunday, January 12
After Party At Chopper: After the party it’s the after party, and after the after party is the after after party (or something like that). Once the dust has settled at Track One for the final time, head over to Chopper—Barista Parlor’s sister tiki bar—to wind down with tasty drinks that don’t taste nearly as boozy as they actually are. There will be drink specials for all CoffeeChamps attendees; just make sure to bring your badge.
7:00pm at Chopper. 1100 B Stratton Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.