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We reached out to each of the 2015 US Barista Championship competitors prior to their routines, to learn a bit more about them as competitors and coffee pros. We hope you enjoy these interviews!
Company: Nom de Plume Roasters
Number of years behind the bar: 4
Number of competitions: 1
This year’s Southwest Regionals, 5th Place
Coffee: Giakanja, Nyeri, Kenya
Milk: Fond du Lac Farms.
Signature Drink: Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice
Rose gel around rims of cordial glasses, rimmed with mixture of citric acid, smoked salt, and ras el hanout. Luxardo cherry on bottom and caramelized sugar on top.
Ras el hanout is a spice mixture that has many, many variations. I made a custom blend that I tailored to the flavors of the Giakanja espresso. I’ll email the recipe, with gram amounts of everything.
Secret Weapons: Ira Glass jokes, and a few puns
Playlist: You Wanted A Hit, by LCD Soundsystem; Some Children, by Holy Ghost!
Theme: Immediate vs. Mediate, in four acts (a la This American Life)
Act One: Giakanja and Howell I Froze It
Act Two: Timely Tasting
Act Three: Dr. Rate of Rise, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Rao
Act Four: Duly Noted
Total Practice Hours: Jeez, no idea. Counting SW Regional prep, well over 100. Curious to know what others have done!
Coach(es): No coaches per se. Jeff Kraus, Chef, owner and operator of Crepe Bar in Phoenix helped with conceptualizing and executing my signature beverage. The really loud sweet/spicy/savory combo of flavors is due to his genius. Niko Kovacevic, my business partner, has been instrumental in developing ideas. Emily Miner, my fiancee, has also made my script way better, and has been an excellent critic. Charles Babinski and Percy Ramirez helped me to fully develop my ideas in my script; Charles also conceived of the name of my presentation’s Act Three (see theme question, above).
Fashion: Glad you asked, haha.
Secondhand (secondfoot?) Prada Shoes
Some kind of button-down shirt
Girl From Arizona Apron
Trivia: Yes. My business partner Niko and I started an exploratory tiny roasting company that popped-up for about a year, and has now popped-down.
Social Medias: @harlinglovacki