Welcome to a recap from Day Two of Eastern Conference action at the 2016 US Coffee Championships Qualifying Event! 25 competitors competed today—we’re breaking these recaps into smaller, bite-sized portions, and will be publishing two a day throughout the event.
This year there’s a live scoring element that’s been introduced into the competition, with a total available points value of 430. That’s the number you’ll see accompanying each of these extraordinary competitors. This is the final day of competition, and you’d think we’d seen it all by this point in the competition, but whoa boy would you be wrong! Today gifted us with the highest scoring performance of any of the entire competition and a handful of truly unforgettable highlights.
Our coverage is made possible by direct support from Urnex Brands. The SprudgeLive competition coverage crew includes Charlie Burt (photos), Elizabeth Chai (photos), and Zac Cadwalader (producer). Notes in this article are pulled from our @sprudgelive competition feed—follow us there for play by play throughout the week.
Tracy Gill, Joe Van Gogh, Durham, NC–202.5
espresso for Tracy Gill “juicy clementine, cinnamon spice, syrupy body like molasses, crisp lime finish”
capps “cinnamon spice, hard to tell where the espresso ends and the milk begins—think spiced toffee”
clementine juice, chilled espresso, black strap molasses, and cinnamon zest in Tracy Gill’s #uscoffeechamps sig drink
Radames Roldan, Blueprint Coffee, St. Louis, MO–305.5
“I’d like to invite you to my feedback loop” – Radames Roldan of @blueprintcoffee. Bucket brigade barista. Love it.
“lemon acidity w/ floral aromatics and hibiscus” R. Roldan’s espresso from Hacienda La Papaya in Ecuador.
3:1 milk to spro for R. Roldan’s “milkies”. Notes of butterscotch and berries.
Rose water, pomegranite, honey, and nutmeg w/ a nitro charge for silkiness for @radprojection‘s sig bev
Hadassah Wilson, Square One Coffee, Lancaster, PA–271
Hacienda La Papaya definitely the *it* coffee of #uscoffeechamps qualifiers
blueberry ginger reduction in @hadassahedith‘s sig drink—charged espresso + egg whites, brown sugar syrup, g-fruit bitters
Trevor Corlett, Madcap Coffee, Washington, DC–342
“cinnamon, black cherry, complex big sweetness…medium bodied, silky, lingering finish”
lil tiny macchiatos from @tjorle — “ovaltine, gingerbread” — 90ml beverage total—”the coffee has as big a show as the milk”
not nearly enough open flame at #uscoffeechamps so thanks for correcting that trev
Robert Varner, Sump Coffee, St. Louis, MO–241.5
4 oz milky from Mr. Varner and @sumpcoffee —”orange citrus, soft caramel” — hey milk beverage sounds pretty good
sig drink for Mr. Varner of @sumpcoffee takes a ristretto shot — playing with espresso styles throughout this routine
Robert Varner’s competition spot only opened up last weekend—that’s a compressed prep time!
Jonathan Moehlig, Land of a Thousand Hills, Roswell, GA–302.5
Here’s a Rwandan coffee from the Rwanda coffee experts at @1000hillscoffee and Jonathan Moehlig
lavender orange simple syrup, Tanzanian chocolate, espresso in J. Moehlig’s sig drink
“There’s nothing better I can do to create community b/t people than making coffee for them” —J. Moehlig
would have perhaps expected more Macklemore this week? Believe this is the first Macklemore usage.
Jon Lewis, Deeper Roots Coffee, Cincinnati, OH–302
Jon Lewis has what looks like either a cider press or a moonshine still up there on stage.
“do you like apples? how about these apples.”
sig drink Jon Lewis @deeperrootsDRC: pressed apple cider & apple peel tisane ice cube, La Palma espresso poured over to melt
Wolf Barn Marnell, Pavement Coffeehouse, Boston, MA–305.5
“candied orange flavor” in Wolf Barn Marnell’s #milkys —it’s an El Sal bourbon-dominant coffee, “great in milk”
note to future competitors, if you play deltron we will tweet at you about it. this has been a note to future competitors
cascara steeped in milk, clementine juice, filtered—”cascara clementine whey”—hey that sounds whey cool
Jason Mundie, Prevail Coffee Roasters, Opelika, AL–195
“In the south we pride ourselves on quality craftmanship and handcrafted materials”
This is a Costa Rican coffee from J. Mundie & @prevailcoffee served with a little southern hospitality.
“blackberries, raspberry tartness, pine nut finish” in Jason Mundie’s Costa Rican espressos
coffee cherry, honey, coffee grounds, espresso—steeped together in hot water. “a unique tasting experience”
Luis Colon, Fuego Coffee Roasters, Rochester, NY–247.5
“Coffee becomes an event, rather than just a simple beverage.” Luis Colon
“Apricot, plum, and honey…creamy mouthfeel, lasting finish” in Luis Colon’s Ethiopian espressos
Andrea Allen, Onyx Coffee Lab, Fayetteville, AR–285.5
“Competition showcases the best baristas, coffees, practices—the ceiling of specialty coffee”
“It is an outdated way of thinking that all natural coffees are fermenty or flawed” — YES.