Highlighting the craft of manually brewed filter coffee, the Brewers Cup is a competition that celebrates both skill and service excellence. In front of a panel of judges, competitors from all over the country prepare and serve three individual beverages.

In years past, the first round involved competitors completing both a compulsory and open service. During the compulsory service, competitors would prepare coffee with whole bean coffee provided to them by the competition. The compulsory has been nixed at the US Competition in 2016.

Instead, we plow right into the “open service” component and witness as they prepare coffee with any coffee of their choice, and along with brewing, give a full presentation in front of the panel of judges.

We’re diving deep here, folks, and we’re bringing you the first day of the three-day first round component of the 2016 Brewers Cup with 37 competitors, with six making it to the second round, held Sunday, April 17, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia at the SCAA Event Expo Extravaganza.

Brewers Cup Coverage is made possible by Acaia Coffee. All 2016 coverage on Sprudge Live is supported by KitchenAid Craft Coffee Brewers and Urnex Brands.

Mick Evans, One Line Coffee

MickEvans2

Number of Years as a Coffee Brewer: 8.5

Number of Competitions Competed In: 6
US Barista Championship: 1x
Great Lakes Regional Barista Chamionship: 3x
US Brewers Cup Big Eastern: 2nd (2015)
US Brewers Cup Qualifying Event: 17th (2016)
US Brewers Cup Championship: 30th (2015)

Coffee: Finca La Meseta, Jambalo, Cauca, Colombia. Pink Bourbon variety, grown at 2200 meters in volcanic soil by second-generation farmer Jaime Ipia.
Brew Method: Kalita Wave

Recipe:
22.1g coffee to 365g water
30g bloom
9 pours of 30-40g each
3:00 total brew time, yielding 1.45% TDS, 21.75% EY.

Aroma: Florals, coconut, nougat
Flavor: Coconut, nougat/caramel flavor, lime acidity, plum/prune, tootsie roll

Does your routine have a theme?
No. My objective is to deliver a routine that is more than the sum of its parts, with the ultimate goal of an excellent experience that does not focus on one particular element/process/concept within the coffee chain.

How many hours total do you think you’ve practiced for this competition?
40 hours of practice and exploration, 10-20 hours of prep/strategy for ensuring the business continues to run while we are away!

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
My partner and OLC’s Green Buyer and lead roaster, Dave Forman, and our Director of Education Sean Hundley. They rock so hard. Sean is also competing in Atlanta (USBC), so we draw a lot of energy and inspiration from each other.

Kaelen Howard, Blue Bottle

KaelenHoward1

Number of Years as a Coffee Brewer: 1

Number of Competitions Competed In: 1

Coffee: Rwanda Nyamasheke Mwasa! 1600 meter altitude, washed process coffee. Super sweet with complex acids that shine throughout the entire drinking experience.
Brew Method:
Clever Dripper

Recipe:
~17g coffee to 250g water , total extraction time ~3:25

Tasting notes:
peachy cherry yummy.
citric acids – cherry
tartaric – white grape.
herbaceous chamomile. butterscotch sweetness. lots of peach and cherries!

Does your routine have a theme?
A simple brew method executed well with a special coffee . no frills. just coffee

What music will you play?
stereolab / REM

How many hours total do you think you’ve practiced for this competition?
A few hours a day.

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
I dragged my production manager in to help taste coffee with me when he had the time, but I spent a lot of time talking to myself in the training lab. As we got down closer to crunch time I got presentation feedback from various people, but a lot of solo time in a near-windowless room after bar shifts….

If there’s anything else you want to tell us, do so here. We’d love to learn more about you. When i’m not brewing coffee i’m riding my bike, trying new cheeses, reading. whatchu wanna know?

Chris Pradzinski, Intelligentsia Coffee

ChrisPradzinski2

Coffee: a washed Ethiopia Tikur Anbessa from the Gedeb District
Brew Method: Kalita Wave

Recipe:
24g coffee to 420g water
3:30 total brew time

Aroma: honey, peache
Flavor: blood orange, white grape, peach, black tea
Body:
 big, syrupy

Matt Foster, Kaldi’s Coffee

MattFoster2

Number of Years as a Coffee Brewer: 7

Number of Competitions Competed In: 2
2014 Big Central, 2016 Qualifying Event

Coffee: Washed, sun dried, Kenyan. Thageini factory.
Brew Method: Immersion method with cloth filter.

Recipe:
Use sifted grounds for immersion method
reintroduce a small amount of fines
pour through cloth filters.

Tasting NotesLime, blackberry, peach and sweet caramel.

Does your routine have a theme?
Exponential education. Basically how we can all build off of each other’s work to make things better for everyone.

How many hours total do you think you’ve practiced for this competition?
I didn’t count them. I just practiced until I was comfortable.

What music will you play?
Michael Jackson, Zapp and Roger, Parov Stellar.

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
David Fasman has been great for basically everything. He was a huge help for tasting my coffee, critiquing my speech, and letting me borrow his apron. Andrew McCaslin was a a huge help tasting and Tony Auger sourced and roasted my coffee to perfection.

Is there anything else you want to tell us? We’d love to learn more about you.
I can get into just about anything someone is passionate about. Just talk to me about what you love (over a Chemex or bottle of gin) and my day/night is made.

Robert Colascione, La Colombe

RobertColascione1

Number of Years as a Coffee Brewer: 9

Number of Competitions Competed In: 0

Coffee: I will be using a blend of two coffees: the Iron Man, a natural process geisha from Panama, and El Faldon, a fully washed caturra from Colombia. Alone, each coffee is delicious and competition worthy; combined, they result in a uniquely mind blowing cup of coffee!
Brew Method: The Bonavita immersion pour-over
Recipe:
204° water, 14-1 ratio, 4min immersion.
Flavor: Meyer lemon, and kefir lime up front, a peppery mango sweetness on the middle of the pallet, and a lingering aftertaste.
Body: 
super smooth, complemented by a sparkling citric acidity.

Does your routine have a theme?
Passion and love.

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

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
I have been blessed to work with quite a few great people, from baristas to Roasters, to the big boss man himself.

Is there anything else you want to tell us? We’d love to learn more about you.
I am honored to be a part of this whole experience, and am greatful for everyone involved. Coffee is a way of life for me, and I feel so lucky to get out there and meet with all of you, and hear your stories.

Ryan Fisher, Commonwealth Coffee Roasters

RyanFisher1

Number of Years as a Coffee Brewer: 5

Number of Competitions Competed In: 3
2015 US Brewers Cup
2015 US Barista Championshiop
2015 Coffee Masters NYC: 2nd

Coffee: Colombia Jeremias Lassa Geisha. This is the very first harvest of this coffee by Jeremias and I am excited to brew it. I think it works great with the new scoring system, balancing the brightness and floral elements that we expect out of a Geisha while also having a great heavy caramel body.
Brew Method: Full immersion, then poured through a V60 filter

Recipe:
Full immersion for 2:30, stir
Stir again at 3:00
Pour through a V60 filter
4:30 total brew time

Tasting NotesJasmine, Lemon, Lime, Pomegranate, Caramel and Cocoa
Body: 
Heavy caramel body.

Does your routine have a theme?
I am going to share about the new Sensory Lexicon and tasting wheel.

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

Daniel Shoup, Ferris Coffee

DanielShoup1

Number of Years as a Coffee Brewer: 3

Number of Competitions Competed In: 1
2016 US Brewers Cup Qualifying Event: 28th

Coffee: Honey processed SL28 from Costa Rica
Brew Method: Hario V60

Flavor: Citrus fruit and brown sugar

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

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
I had a lot of help from our Director of Coffee Sam Mirto.

Is there anything else you want to tell us? We’d love to learn more about you.
I was born and raised in Michigan. I love spending time with my dogs and my friends, and my friends’ dogs. In my spare time I enjoy live music, playing drums and watching movies.

Colin Frew, Lucky Goat Coffee

ColinFrew2

Number of Years as a Coffee Brewer: 4

Number of Competitions Competed In: 2
2014 Big Eastern Brewers Cup
2016 US Brewers Cup Qualifying Event

Coffee: a washed processed, single farmer lot from Mokonisa, Ethiopia, grown at 1850MASL.
Brew Method: polished immersion method.

Recipe:
15:1 ratio
steep the coffee in one vessel
pour it through a V-60 to strain out the grounds.
5:00 total steep time

Tasting NotesIt kind of tastes like earl grey tea with a touch of sugar and lemon.

Does your routine have a theme?
The theme is about how we all have our reasons for working in coffee, and that it is important to stay aware of your motivations.

What music will you play?
“Methods” by Charizma & Peanut Butter Wolf, “Cedar” and “Bergamot Wild” by MF Doom.

How many hours total do you think you’ve practiced for this competition?
about a million. Mostly practicing my speech alone in my car on my commute.

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
Not quite. I am always asking my coworkers to taste my coffee. They have been super supportive!

Is there anything else you want to tell us? We’d love to learn more about you.
Very thankful to be here, very excited to compete and learn!

Ben Jones, Ristretto Roasters

BenJones1

Coffee: a washed Colombia El Triunfo from the Huila Region
Brew Method: 8 cup Chemex

Recipe:
25g coffee to 425g water
3:15 total brew time

Aroma: floral jasmine, spiced baked apricot
Flavor: tart apricot, almond marzipan, complex honey sweetness, vanilla, plum, cocoa, lively popping acidity
Body:
medium, round

Margaret DeGoosh, Bard Coffee

MargaretDeGoosh1

Number of Years as a Coffee Brewer: 10

Number of Competitions Competed In: 3
2015 Big Central Brewers Cup: 5th
2015 US Brewers Cup
2016 US Brewers Cup Qualifying Event: 9th in East

Coffee: Natural Ethiopia Guji Hambela
Brew Method: Clever

Tasting notesPlum, LIME, grape jelly, black tea, cocoa

Does your routine have a theme?
Community

What music will you play?
The Goat Rodeo Sessions (yo yo ma duh)

How many hours total do you think you’ve practiced for this competition?
How many years does a unicorn live?

Do you have a coach/coaches? Tell us about them!
Brittany Feltovic from Bard. She’s been a champion and been around for run throughs and edits through the whole competition season.

TAYLOR MIHALJEVIC, SQUARE ONE COFFEE

TaylorMihaljevic1

Coffee: Fully washed Pink Bourbon produced by Don Jaime in Colombia
Brew Method: 8 cup Chemex
Water:
80/20 mineral to distilled water

Recipe:
19g coffee to 360g water
5:00 total brew time

Aroma: jasmine, lemongrass
Flavor: pear, pineapple, hibiscus, and honeydew
Body:
medium, smooth

RYAN WOJTON, MADCAP COFFEE

RyanWojton1

Coffee: fully washed Ethiopia Reko
Brew Method: Kalita Wave

Recipe:
16.5g coffee to 280g water

Aroma: floral bouquet, vanilla, fig
Flavor: peach and plum with a balanced acidity
Body:
delicate but structured

Erich Rosenberg, Novo Coffee

ErichRosenberg1

Coffee: A mixed heirloom varietal from Ethiopia, by Ninety Plus and Simeon Abay
Brew Method: 8 cup Chemex

Recipe:
40g coffee to 600g water
4:15 total brew time

Aroma: milk chocolate, canteloupe
Flavor: juicy watermelon, elderberry
Body:
light, juicy

We’ll be back tomorrow with more live coverage of Round One, Day Two of the US Brewers Cup. Here’s a schedule of tomorrow’s competitors.