USBC Competitor Michael Harwood, Ceremony Coffee Roasters

SprudgeLive’s coverage of the 2015 United States Barista Championship is made possible by direct support from Nuova SimonelliCafe Imports, and Bonavita.  All of SprudgeLive’s 2015 barista competition coverage is underwritten in partnership with Square and Urnex Brands

We’re proud to serve as official media partners of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, who produce these extraordinary events.

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: Ceremony Coffee Roasters
Number of years behind the bar: 10
Number of competitions: 8 comps over 4.5 seasons

2010 SERBC – Did not final (bottom third overall)
2011 SERBC – 1st Place
2011 USBC – Semifinals (came in last. lol)
2012 SERBC – 2nd Place
2012 USBC – 1st Round
2013 SERBC – 3rd Place
2013 USBC – Semifinals (came in 7th overall)
2015 Big Eastern – 3rd Place

Coffee: 3 coffees – Esp.: Colombia Bellavista; Capp: Sulawesi TOARCO Minanga; SB: Kenya Gondo

Milk: Organic Pastures – raw, local to LB


Signature Beverage: A Long Soak with Bubbles

Serves 4.

2 espresso extractions of Kenya Gondo – light espresso profile
16 ml “Kenya process” gomme syrup*
44 ml sparkling water – medium hardness
1 hibiscus flower

* Gomme syrup – 10g hibiscus syrup + 2g gum arabic + 1g acid phosphate + 0.5g sodium glutamate + 2 dashes glycerin-based grapefruit bitters

Place hibiscus flower in flute. Portion gomme syrup, sparkling water, espresso into mixing glass. Stir. Pour over flower.

Secret Weapons: An EK funnel mod.

Playlist: Bonobo – We Could Forever
Bonobo – Cirrus
The Horrors – Still Life

Theme: Main Theme – Matching coffee to beverage to raise guest experience.
Secondary Theme – Hybrids as adaptable quality.

Total Practice Hours: 100 – 125 hours

Coach(es): My partner Roz coached me on scripting, table settings, and dress. My amazing co-workers at Ceremony offered to help wherever needed.

Fashion: RVCA
American Apparel
High Cotton

Trivia: A huge thanks to you all for continuing to grow your coverage of coffee events.

Social Medias: @BlueBarista; (Insta) michaeltharwood