Welcome to our second recap from Day Two of Western 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 this 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, but whether you DQ’d or cracked 300, all of the routines today were a lot of fun to watch.
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 @sprudgelivecompetition feed—follow us there for play by play throughout the week.
Tyler Brodd, Dinosaur Coffee, Los Angeles, CA–208.5
It’s an Ethiopia Biftu Gudina coffee for T. Brodd of @dinosaur_coffee
lavender & grapefruit, espresso, and clove sweetness for T. Brodd’s sig drinks
“vanilla pie crust…citrus tones” in T. Brodd’s Biftu Gudina cappuccinos
Sheli Maciel, Allegro Coffee Company, Oakland, CA–278
Maciel’s sig drink uses @ninetyplus Nekisse paired with balsamic simple syrup, cascara, molasses, sparkling
Dylan McClain, Case Study Coffee Roasters, Portland, OR–257.5
“We have to fight to get here.” the story of both the coffee and the industry at large.
A honey-processed pacamara varietal from the Paguaga family in Nicaragua for D. McClain.
“upfront flavor of salted almond, wine tannins, melon acidity, with a lingering note of raspberry jam” from the Nicaraguan espresso.
Shout out from McClain to Iranian barista champ Mehran Mirjani.
David Buehrer, Greenway Coffee Co, Houston, TX–306.5
Lemon pound cake, cherry cordial aromatics, and malted chocolate coming from Buehrer’s milk course.
A fully washed Burundi for D. Buehrer’s espresso, w/ notes of cherry, grapefruit rind, and hibiscus tartness.
“I wanted to bring out the flavor of fruity pebbles” in Buehrer’s sig bev, using frozen raspberries and blueberries.
Clean flavors, Dirty South. @greenwaybarista calls time just under the 10 minute mark.
Sam Schroeder, Olympia Coffee Roasting Co, Olympia, WA–326
Mr. Schroeder took 3rd place in last year’s USBC and is a good bet to make a strong showing again this year.
“apricot like sweetness, lemon acidity, and oolong like bitterness” in @s_schro‘s espresso.
“Let’s here it for those flavor descriptors!” Emcee @lorenzoperkins is feeling Schroeder’s routine.
Chilled espresso, pistachio cream, spiced lemon zest simple syrup, and sparkling water for @s_schro‘s sig bev.
Jesse Gonzalez, Ritual Coffee, San Francisco, CA–221
“I want you to enjoy this cappuccino for what it is—a nice, balanced, harmonious beverage.”
espresso notes for J. Gonzalez: “heavy body, low tone sweetness, grapefruit acidity, chestnut”
tonic water, elderflower, maraschino cherry syrup and espresso in J. Gonzalez’ sig drink at #uscoffeechamps
Devin J. Chapman, La Colombe, Los Angeles, CA–311.5
This is an SL-28 and SL-34 Kenyan coffee from @devchap developed by Scott Laboratories (SL) specifically for Kenya
We are all a part of Devin Chapman’s coffee house party.
We got some young country. We got some Beebs. But most of all we got some @devchap — it was special.
Nicholas Balcer, The Arbor Lodge, Portland, OR–213
N. Balcer of Portland’s @thearborlodge competes with a washed coffee from Ecuador—”a truly beautiful coffee”
“white peach, stewed red peppers, and marzipan” in Nicholas Balcer’s #uscoffeechamps espressos
notes of “bloody mary and spicy margarita” in Nicholas Balcer’s coffee—wow that sounds great right now.
Eden‐Marie Abramowicz, Bastet Coffee, Los Angeles, CA–304
“My goal is to serve as much tasty coffee to as many people as possible.”
espresso notes for @missedenmarie “pale ale…vibrant mango…juicy cherry viscosity…notes of plum”
“orange marmalade and graham” notes for @missedenmarie‘s milk course using Colombia Primavera
sig drink for @missedenmarie—mandarin orange juice reduction, date syrup, thyme & pink sea salt infusion, espresso, aerated!
pink sea salt is so good you guys.
Brandon Acuna, Local Coffee/Merit Roasting Co., San Antonio, TX–231
if you took the under on hearing something from the Drive soundtrack this week, you were wrong, and should no longer gamble.
This is a Kenyan espresso, cranberry & hibiscus foam, and acid phosphate sig drink from #uscoffeechamps competitor Brandon Acuna
Port wine notes in Brandon Acuna’s sig drink. You know what’s really underrated? Port wine.
Talya Strader, Equator Coffees & Teas, Oakland, CA–284
“The seed to cup story is an important story, and it’s worth repeating.”
cranberry juice, melted butter & marzapan, and Ethiopia Biftu Gudina in Talya Strader’s #uscoffeechamps sig drink
maybe make like little marzipan coffee cherries? marzipan coffee shrubs? ooh ooh real-sized marzipan beans
“Exceptional coffee is not about a certification, variety or method…it’s hands along the chain”
Ryan Fisher, Commonwealth Coffee, Denver, CO–286
“It’s easy to overlook simplicity done well, time after time”
Ryan Fisher of @commonwealthden competes w/ washed Colombian coffee from Cundinamarca, an underloved region near Bogota
guava nectar and almond paste for Ryan Fisher’s sig drink