Welcome to Coffeetown
It’s competition season again and we just returned from our kick off event: the Southwest Regional Barista Competition. The SWRBC pits the best Baristas in CA, HI, NV, AZ, NM, UT, and CO against each other in a heavyweight slug-fest of espresso and presentation prowess. This year about forty Baristas took part in the event with the top six finalists securing a spot in the United States Barista Championship. We were proud to showcase two Baristas in the final six and three in the top ten. Here’s how they roll:
Jared Truby. A finalist three years in a row in this regional competition Jared is no stranger to Barista Competitions. His blend consisted of a Nido de Oro a washed coffee from Colombia and his old flame the Elida Estate, a naturally processed coffee from Panama. Strawberry and burnt caramel sweetness galore yielded JT a third place finish in this throwdown.Sara “sweet treats” Peterson. Also a third year regional finalist and former national finalist Sara is basically what any food network star wishes they could be. Using a washed Pacamara varietal from El Salvador farmed by Alejandro Valiente she constructed a small, quaint, tropical concoction with a foam made from pineapple, coconut, citrus, with just a bit of soft spice. All this propelled Sara P to a fourth place finish.Ian Benjamin Banks Levine. He’s got four names and holds the coveted title of “the tallest guy at Verve.” In Ians first competition experience with Verve he laid it down with a washed Pacamara from Huehuetenango, Guatemala farmed by Aurelio Villatoro. Melons and citrus were the theme of his “so fresh, so clean” style run through and earned him a seventh place finish.
This year in conjunction with all the regional and national Barista competitions they’re holding the Brewers Cup Competition. The Brewers cup focuses on producing exceptional individually prepared cups of brewed coffee rather than espresso. It’s like a Barista competition just swap that espresso out for french press, pour over, or other manual method of your choice. Our roaster Sean White and I competed in this thing and it was quite a treat. Sean brewed coffee using an immersion circulator to stabilize water temperature in what promises to be the most trick set up of the year and brewed incredible coffee. I am grateful to say that somehow I managed to take home the top spot in the brewers cup going old school french press style. Somehow the odds were in my favor that weekend. All and all it was a great weekend and we’re fully in the zone and ready to prepare for the USBC to be held in Houston Texas the last week of April. We’ll keep you updated.