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 we’ve been lucky enough to capture it all for you as it happened! Watching these 100 competitors pour their hearts out on that stage has been incredible, and we’ve loved every caffeinated minute.
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.
Ron Grieco, Stacks Espresso Bar, Albany, NY–216
“shortbread, blueberries, and caramelized sugars” in Ron Grieco’s milk drinks
freshly slapped basil! *slap* echoes across the #uscoffeechamps hall
Lemuel Butler, Verity Resins, Forest City, NC–319
Sig drink this year is called “The Ruby Slipper” — because we’re in Kansas! Er, Kansas City, but still…
Lem Butler so cool and in control up there, competes w/ very little visible stress or strain—a pro’s pro.
acetic acid, espresso, gardenia flower simple syrup (from his own garden!), soda, served low w/ no instructions
Levi Roye, Post Coffee Company, Kansas City, MO–268
Here’s some more tasty mixed heirloom Ethiopian coffee, this time washed, from Levi Roy of @postcoffeeco
“tangerine citrus, almond smooth finish—enjoy at your leisure” — Levi Roye’s @postcoffeeco Ethiopia paired w/ milk
“citrus peel, tangerine, tart acidity…green tea & almond, mellow finish” Levi Roye’s @postcoffeeco Ethiopian espresso
sig drink 4 Levi Roye: tangerine oleo saccharine, green tea extract, chilled espresso, soda, tangerine peel
Christine Goepfert, Filter Coffeehouse, Washington, DC–186.5
“Show of hands. Who likes Ethiopian coffees?” – Goepfert. Throw your hands in the air like you just don’t care.
“Tart cherry, raspberry, lime bitterness, pleasant dry finish” for C. Goepfert’s Werka espresso roasted by @ceremonycoffee
Wheat toast w/ sweetened cream cheese, apricot preserves, and lemon curd in C. Goepfert’s macchiatos.
“you get to drink a galaxy” C. Goepfert is serving her sig bevs with “an awesome galactic pattern.” Trippy.
Matthew Scott, Lemonjello’s Coffee, Holland, MI–269
5.5oz #milky for M. Scott. Notes of butterscotch and vanilla. Simple, creamy, beautiful.
Floral nose w/ mulling spices. Lemonade acidity, strawberry sweetness, and hibiscus bitterness from M. Scott’s Yurko espressos.
Strawberry simple syrup and a 12 hour cold brew using the Yukro get a nitro charge to accentuate the lemonade acidity in M. Scott’s sig bev.
Drew Frohn, Ultimo Coffee, Philadelphia, PA–268.5
“Coffee is a feel good beverage” -Frohn. Can i get a little feel good at the Sprudge Twitter desk please?
1:3 ratio of feel good to milk in D. Frohn’s
#milky. Totally J of the judges right now.
“Meyer lemon, jasmine, white peach & a juicy body” coming from Frohn’s espresso course.
Tulsi, honey, and holy basil tea in D. Frohn’s sig bev. Notes of jasmine, honeysuckle, and tamarind.
AJ Willett, Ferris Coffee, Grand Rapids, MI–242
wow peak Michigan here, as AJ Willett of @ferriscoffee shows the judges where Grand Rapids is on the mitten.
espresso AJ Willett “complex and balanced—stone fruit acidity, baking spice, toffee sweetness, honey”
capps for @ferriscoffee‘s AJ Willett tastes like “nice butter…dark chocolate sweetness, hint of coffee, nut aftertaste”
coconut milk & reduced cascara syrup in AJ Willett’s #uscoffeechamps sig drinks—shaken over ice for aromatics & dilution
Sean Hundley, One Line Coffee, Columbus, OH–288
i don’t even really like raspberry or cheesecake, but a raspberry cheesecake cappuccino sounds freaking great
sig drink inspired by Argentinian malbec —”mock red wine”—made with the seeds & skins of his Colombian coffee
Adam Solomon, Joe Bean Roasters, Rochester, NY–249.5
natural processed Ethiopian Yirgacheffe here for Adam Solomon and @joebeanroasters—more natural coffee please yes thank you
Sig drink for Adam Solomon inspired by the Indian lassi drink—like a coffee lassi
don’t why 3:17pm on Day Four is when the Universe decided to give us “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” but that’s life.
*air guitar break*
“dried raspberry, cocoa finish, and a caramelly milk chocolate” in Adam Solomon’s #uscoffeechamps capps (er, “milkys”)
pom molasses, dark chocolate sauce, and rosewater with espresso in @anmccan‘s sig drinks
boy i could really go for a red wine-like finish over here right now but not from espresso if u know what i mean
Trevor Gruehn, Bradbury’s Coffee, Madison, WI–310.5
“I remember the first time I fell in love…[slow music kicks in]…with coffee, that is.”
“orange fruits, tropical fruits—think papaya, medium light, juicy, and a dry finish like citrus pith”
sig drink for @variable_coffee espresso over caramel sauce, papaya reduction, immersion blended, served up & low
Nathan Cochran, ReAnimator Coffee Roasters, Philadelphia, PA–238
This is a Caturra and Colombia variety coffee from @reanimatorphila —”representative of years and years of horticulture”
sig drink for N. Cochran takes chamomile & lavender flowers, maple syrup, water, espresso
“dessert wines…spiced cookies” in Nathan Cochran’s sig drink—what are “things jordan enjoys”
also notes of “pho” in Nathan Cochran’s sig drink—give me back my life, Nathan, and stay out of my brain
capp notes for Nathan Cochran: “orange acidity, cocoa, melted milkshake, subtle herbaceousness”
Stephanie Caronna, La Farm Bakery, Raleigh, NC–216.5
Stephanie Caronna’s competing with a Nicarguan coffee today here at #uscoffeechamps showcased in different methods
“sweet buttery pastry, creamy body” In Steph Caronna’s #uscoffeechamps well-traveled capps
sig drink for @lafarmcary‘s Steph Caronna: cold brew ice cubes, tart cherry juice ice cubes, espresso
Timothy Jones, Jubala Coffee, Durham, NC–220.5
Tim Jones competes with a Colombia Narino coffee, La Florida, Urcurina
“One of my passions as a barista is collaboration—many people make this coffee possible.”
North Carolina birch syrup as part of @timmjones sig drink, to represent the NC element of his routine