We’ve made it through Round One, and now we’re on to the Semi-Finals of the 2016 US Barista Championship here in Atlanta, Georgia. The top six performers from yesterday will meet the top 12 baristas from the Regional Qualifying Event that took place earlier this year in Kansas City, Missouri.

The top six finishers from today move on to the Finals on Sunday, where a new US Barista Champion will be crowned!

We’ll be live-blogging the whole thing here (and the Brewers Cup here) and live-tweeting every detail at @SprudgeLive, keep you close to the syrupy, creamy, sig-bevy action! We’ll be updating this blog reguarly, so stay tuned…

Our 2016 US Barista Championship coverage on Sprudge Live is supported by KitchenAid Craft Coffee Brewers, Nuova Simonelli, and Urnex Brands.

Official Livestream here

BECKY REEVES, RISTRETTO ROASTERS

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Number of years as a barista: 6

Number of competitions: 1
2016 US Barista Regional Qualifying Event: 3rd in West

Coffee: A Marracatura from the Bella Aurora farm, Nicaragua

Milk: Johnston family farm

Signature Beverage: It’s an ode to Brewers toddy
Beer wort, apple infused simple syrup, cardomom areomaric, and the espresso of course

Does your routine have a theme? Sustainability and community

What’s your playlist going to be?
Notorious BIG, warren G, Ice Cube, Bone Thugs n Harmony

How many hours total do you think you’ve practiced for this competition?
…. Id rather not think about that…

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
Ben jones- coffee Brewer extraordinaire, Ryan cross- very judge-y Lauren Lathrop- everything she says it correct, always listen to her.

Is there anything else you want to tell us? We’d love to learn more about you.
One thing I’m really proud of with this routine is we spent no money at all. Everything was borrowed, battered for, repurposed and recycled.

TYLER G. HILL, THE PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE

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Coffee: Cerro Azul, a fully washed Geisha from Cauca region of Colombia, roasted by Sweet Bloom Coffee

Signature Beverage: oolong tea syrup, over-extracted earl grey tea ice cubes, and peach mist.

SAM SCHROEDER, OLYMPIA COFFEE ROASTING CO.

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Number of years as a barista: 15

Number of competitions: 6
Northwestern Regional Barista Championship: 7th (2013), 4th (2014), 1st (2015)
US Barista Championship: 14th (2014), 3rd (2015)
2016 US Barista Regional Qualifying Event: 2nd in West

Coffee: Fabian Quipo, San Sebastián, Colombia & Elkin Guzman Pitalito, Colombia

Signature Beverage: Espresso, Green Apple Reduction, Syrah Grape & Panela syrup, Spice Infusion & texture

Does your routine have a theme? My routine is about sharing stories.

What’s your playlist going to be? Miike Snow, Geographer, Borns

How many hours total do you think you’ve practiced for this competition? 80+

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
Yes, I am incredibly fortunate to be coached by 2014 USBC champ Laila (Ghambari) Willbur, she is so amazing!

ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ, SIGHTGLASS

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Number of years as a barista: 6

Number of competitions: 1
2012 Northeastern Barista Championship

Coffee: Catimor from Honduras

Milk: St. Benoit Creamery

Signature Beverage: “The Teacher’s Pet”
Components to be decided by the judges.

Does your routine have a theme? Education as means of barista empowerment

What’s your playlist going to be? Paul McCartney and Madness

How many hours total do you think you’ve practiced for this competition?
Some amount that’ll never feel like enough

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
No coaches, but lots of friends!

Is there anything else you want to tell us? We’d love to learn more about you.
Send Adam your love and coffee puns: https://www.gofundme.com/765d23s4

Trevor Corlett, MADCAP COFFEE

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Number of years as a barista: 15

Number of competitions: 18 (9 regionals, 9 nationals)
Regionals I finished 7th in 2008 & in the top 4 for the next 8 years. 2011 USBC 4th, 2013 USBC 3rd, 2014 USBC 3rd

Coffee: Galeras: El Perejil, El Peñol, Nariño, Colombia

Signature Beverage: “Almost Perfect”
Sweetened condensed milk, espresso, True syrups grenadine, cinnamon/cherry smoke

Does your routine have a theme? The Persuit of Perfection

What’s your playlist going to be? Jai Wolf, ayokay, Major Lazer, Timeflies, Zara Larsson

How many hours total do you think you’ve practiced for this competition? 40+

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
Colin Whitcomb; Director of Education at Madcap, lover of orchids, a consummate poet, and a father of one.

Is there anything else you want to tell us? We’d love to learn more about you.
Much love for Sprudge.

MICHAEL HARWOOD, CEREMONY COFFEE ROASTERS

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Number of years as a barista: 12

Number of competitions: 10
Southeastern Regional Barista Championship: 1st (2011), 3rd (2012), 3rd (2013),
Northeastern Regional Barista Championship: 3rd (2015)
2016 US Barista Regional Qualifying Event
US Barista Championship: Semi-finalist (2012, 2013), 3rd (2015)

Coffee: Kenya Kiangoi from the Rung’eto Farmers Cooperative Society

Milk: Trickling Springs Creamery blend of 2% + Creamline (non-homogenized)

Signature Beverage: “Love Tonic”
Pomegranate/Pink Grapefruit Syrup, Blackstrap Molasses, Red Food Coloring, Hibiscus/Blackberry/Raisin Garnish

Does your routine have a theme? Falling in love again!

What’s your playlist going to be?
Gramatik – Just Jammin; St. Germain – Rose Rouge; Parov Stelar – Jimmy’s Gang

How many hours total do you think you’ve practiced for this competition?
How does one count time spent dreaming?

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
The UPS guy + half a dozen people who showed up for one of our public tasting events. Great feedback!

Is there anything else you want to tell us? We’d love to learn more about you.
I’m hoping to coach next season. We have some strong candidates at Ceremony!

Bethany Hargrove, BARISTA

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Number of years as a barista: 6

Number of competitions: 4
Northwestern Regional Barista Championship: 5th (2014)
US Barista Championship: 2014
US Cup Tasters: Semi-Finalist (2015)
2016 US Barista Regional Qualifying Event: 5th in West

Coffee: William Cardona, Huila, Colombia, roasted by Roseline Coffee

Signature Beverage: “The Oregon Trail”
Espresso, wood sorrel whey, Oregon grape blossom aromatic foam

Does your routine have a theme? Human Connection

What’s your playlist going to be? 
Grimes– realiti; Harrison (feat madee) — you’re light; Disclosure — Latch; Grimes — butterfly

How many hours total do you think you’ve practiced for this competition?
HAHAHAHAH, 150? 200?

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
Lauren Lathrop, a boss ass lady who’s been making coffee forever and has probably judged you recently. Brett Felchner, who would be mad that I even mention him but he keeps me grounded and in touch with what matters (coffee and guests) My sisters Jessie and Rachel, who flew out from Oregon just to support me and polish my glassware (HOLLAAAA)

Is there anything else you want to tell us? We’d love to learn more about you.
I think you look cute today.

ANDREA ALLEN, ONYX COFFEE LAB
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Number of years as a barista: 14

Number of competitions: 3 seasons
2015 Big Central Regional Barista Championship: 2nd
2015 US Barista Championship: Sem-finalist

Coffee: Colombia Las Margaritas Pacamara Natural

Milk: Ozark Mountain Creamery

Signature Beverage: “Espresso Lassi”
Lacto Fermented Yogurt, Espresso, House Vanilla Simple Syrup, Smoking Cassia, Spanked Basil

Does your routine have a theme? Specialty Coffees vs. Natural Processing

What’s your playlist going to be? Folk

How many hours total do you think you’ve practiced for this competition? Too many

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them! Jon Allen & Licata Coffee

Is there anything else you want to tell us? We’d love to learn more about you.
I love coffee and people!

Ashley Elander, INTELLIGENTSIA COFFEE

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Number of years as a barista: 6

Number of competitions: 1
2016 US Barista Regional Qualifying Event: 3rd in East

Coffee: A Colombian coffee from Gerardo Escobar (formerly known as Tres Santos Limited Release)

Signature Beverage: Macerated raspberry syrup, apple cider vinegar, aromatic rim (juniper berry, strawberry, lemon peel, orange peel)

Does your routine have a theme? Change

What’s your playlist going to be? A little funk, some hip hop, electronic indie rock, and definitely Robyn

How many hours total do you think you’ve practiced for this competition? 50+

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
Oh yes! Jacque DesMarais, a good friend and fellow educator with me at Intelligentsia in Chicago. She has far more experience than I do with barista competitions and always challenged me to make the coffee taste better (#moresweetness).

Is there anything else you want to tell us? We’d love to learn more about you.
I draw a lot outside of coffee stuff, so I’m excited to present a routine that utilizes both of those passions.

Devin Chapman, LA COLOMBE

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Number of years as a barista: 6

Number of competitions: 11
Northwest Regional Barista Championship: 10th (2011), 1st (2012) 1st (2013), 4th (2015)
US Barista Championship: Semi-finalist (2011), 4th (2012), Semi-finalist (2013), 5th (2015)
Northwest Regional Brewers Cup: 1st (2011), 1st (2012)
2016 US Barista Regional Qualifying Event: 6th in West

Coffee: 2 Coffees: El Faldon from Huila, Colombia and Matilde Mahogany from Minas Gerais, Brasil

Milk: Clover Stornetta Farms

Signature Beverage: Lemon, Honey, Bitters, Espresso

Does your routine have a theme? Excellence

What’s your playlist going to be? American Football

How many hours total do you think you’ve practiced for this competition? 200+

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
Yes! I have a phenomenal coach in Matt Quillen, who has gone above and beyond in helping put together this routine and everything that goes with it. Also, honorable mention to Charles Babinski, Roukiat Delrue, Jordan Kahn, Mallory Leicht, Jen Splinter and Ben Usen, whose thoughts and feedback were also of significant value to the process. Thank you guys!

Is there anything else you want to tell us? We’d love to learn more about you.
A very, very special thanks to Hedley & Bennett, for everything. Additional thanks: AHierloom, Clover Stornetta Farms, Kiriko, Studio Poise, Tortoise General Store, Urban Radish, Woodlark, WRF Labs. #teamdevchap

Samuel Lewontin, EVERYMAN ESPRESSO

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Number of years as a barista: 15, 9 of which have been in specialty coffee.

Number of competitions: 8
Northeastern Regional Barista Championship: 7th (2011), 4th (2012), 1st (2013), 1st (2015)
US Barista Championship: 20-ish (2012), 4th (2013), 4th (2015)
2016 US Barista Regional Qualifying Event: 2nd in East

Coffee: Tito Raul Quelal, Colombia

Signature Beverage: Espresso, malic acid, phosphoric acid, acetic acid, wildflower honey, and nitrous oxide.

Does your routine have a theme? I’ll be exploring the role of baristas in creating the market for great coffee.

How many hours total do you think you’ve practiced for this competition? 
Somewhere between 150 and 200, not counting all the time I’ve spent thinking about it and working on it outside the lab.

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
So many people have had a hand in making this routine what it is, but first and foremost, I want to give shout-outs to Candice Madison, without whose tireless work and keen insight this routine wouldn’t be anywhere near where it is now, and to Sam Penix, whose help and feedback have, as always, been crucial to the process. Big ups also to the team at Counter Culture Coffee– in New York, Durham, and Atlanta– and to my family at Everyman Espresso, without whose support none of these crazy competition dreams would be possible.

Is there anything else you want to tell us? We’d love to learn more about you.
Team Jenna for life!

Trevor Gruehn, BRADBURY’S COFFEE

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Number of years as a barista: 11

Number of competitions: 12
Great Lakes Regional Barista Championship: 2008, 2010
Big Central Regional Barista Championship: 2013, 2014, 2015 (15th)
US Barista Championship: 2015
2016 Regional Barista Qualifying Event: 6th in East
Big Central Regional Brewers Cup: 2013 (4th), 2014 (2nd), 2015
US Brewers Cup: 2015

Coffee: Antonio Canás, Colombia

Milk: Sassy Cow

Signature Beverage: Clarified strawberry reduction, maple, balsamic vinegar reduction, caramelized strawberry aromatics.

Does your routine have a theme? Change and adaptation.

What’s your playlist going to be?
“Got to Be Real” – Cheryl Lynn; “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” – McFadden & Whitehead; “Fantastic Voyage” – Lakeside; “Strawberry Letter 23” – Brothers Johnson

How many hours total do you think you’ve practiced for this competition?
Quite a few, my dudes.

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
My girlfriend Kathryn. The level of support she provides is incredible. Big shoutout to my Bradbury’s and Ruby crews too.

Cole McBride, PUBLICUS

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Coffee: La Papaya, a Typica varietal grown in southern Ecuador by Juan Pena, and a Panama from Boquete, grown by Graciano Cruz

Signature Beverage: filtered espresso, grape drinking vinegar, carbonated sugar simple syrup, combined in a coil condenser

Lemuel Butler, VERITY RESINS

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Number of years as a barista: 12 professionally

Number of competitions: 8 Regionals, 6 Nationals, 1 Qualifier
Regionals (5 wins, 4th, 3rd, 23rd) Nationals (highest rank was 8th can’t remember where) 5th in the Qualifier

Coffee: Jose Gallardo Finca Nuguo Panama

Milk: Horizon Organic

Signature Beverage: Chilled Nuguo, Magnolia flower simple syrup, hibiscus, lemongrass and lots of nitrous

Does your routine have a theme? Brightness and Sweetness

What’s your playlist going to be? 
Tears Might Fall by Green Street, Dododo by Sir Victor Uwaifo, undecided on last track but it will be a good one.

How many hours total do you think you’ve practiced for this competition?
Somewhere around 120 run throughs

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
More like a team. Jose Gallardo has been an inspiration with all his hard work growing this coffee. Kyle Tush has been amazing selecting and roasting the coffee. Andrew Cash has been extremely objective and collaborative with the signature drink. Gary Horne and Mahlkonig has been my spiritual and equipment Guru. My wife Sarah has given me unconditional support and sanity when things go terribly wrong and get overwhelming.

Is there anything else you want to tell us? We’d love to learn more about you.
Look in the front row…you see my family waving?

CASEY SOLORIA, INTELLIGENTSIA COFFEE

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Coffee: a washed Bourbon varietal from Burundi

Signature Beverage: coconut blossom sugar, hot water, and flamed orange zest

Andrew McCaslin, KALDI’S COFFEE ROASTING CO.

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Number of years as a barista: 9

Number of competitions: 9
America’s Best Coffeehouse: 1st
South Central Regional Brewers Cup: 4th (2014), 2nd (2015)
US Brewers Cup: 8th (2015)
South Central Regional Barista Comp: 11th (2014), 8th (2015)
2016 US Barista Regional Qualifying Event: 4th in East

Coffee: Colombia Carlos Imbachi

Signature Beverage: Dark Brown Sugar, Pomegranate Juice, Rose and Lavender Tea

Does your routine have a theme? A homage to Research and Development

How many hours total do you think you’ve practiced for this competition?
8-10 hrs per week for the last few months

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
David Fasman. Best coach anyone could have! He has an unwavering dedication to always making coffee taste better.

Is there anything else you want to tell us? We’d love to learn more about you.
Love, love, love!

KELLY SANCHEZ, BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE CO.

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Number of years as a barista: 6

Number of competitions: 1
2016 US Barista Regional Qualifying Event

Coffee: Rwanda Nyamasheke Mwasa

Milk: Clover Stornetta Organic

Signature Beverage: Chamomile-hops syrup, orange zest ice cubes, club soda, espresso

Does your routine have a theme? Coffee processing is essentially preservation

What’s your playlist going to be? Com Truise, Photay, Neon Indian, Shabazz Palaces

How many hours total do you think you’ve practiced for this competition? 135-180

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
Various colleagues: Judith Mandel (BB QC), Ashley Rodriguez (SightGlass competitor), Michael Phillips, Juliet Han (BB roaster), others

JEREMY STERNER, PEREGRINE ESPRESSO

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Number of years as a barista: 19

Number of competitions: I’m not sure exactly
Several SCAA events and also the Coffee fest latte art and America’s Best Coffee House. We did pretty well. We had great teams for everything!

Coffee: Cueva de los Llanos from Nariño, Colombia, roasted by Counter Culture

Milk: Trickling Springs Creamery milk

Signature Beverage: Cueva de los Llanos, some cream and some caramel sauce

What’s your playlist going to be? Radical Face

How many hours total do you think you’ve practiced for this competition? 
Not enough. Is it ever enough?

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
My coach Dawn. My coach Dawn is awesome! She felt odd coaching me when I have helped her in the past with competition, but it was just what I needed. Got me movin’! Thanks, Pro!!!

Is there anything else you want to tell us? We’d love to learn more about you.
I haven’t done this competition thing in a while and I am nervous, but excited to be back in it this year. I could go on and on about how much support that my family at Peregrine and my family at home have provided, but I am guessing that anyone doing this has a strong team behind them. I just hope I can do my best and do all of the people involved, from producers, roasters, and my Peregrine team, proud.

That’s it! We’ll have the Finalist announcement in two shakes…