The road to glory is paved with…coffee. We’re heading to the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Expo in Atlanta this weekend, and a few of us will be competing in the U.S. Coffee Championships. Since qualifiers in February, our competitors have been pulling long days, roasting, training, and serving coffee by day, practicing their competition routines by night. It’s been inspiring to see the whole team pull together and help each other, whether it’s meticulously shaving beans or providing feedback on taste. Before we get down to Atlanta, we want to introduce you to our folks and tell you a little bit about what to expect from them on the competition floor:
James Tooill – US Brewers Cup
James is our lead sourcer and roaster for single-origins. Last year, he won the US Cup Tasters Championships, and this year he’ll be brewing our Ironman Geisha. His aim is to brew the Ironman so it tastes as bright and delicious as it does on the cupping table, all while explaining how roasting style affects the coffee. Oh – and he’ll be wearing a fantastically floral apron. Catch his routine on Saturday (4/16) at 9:45am (EST).
Rob Colascione – US Brewers Cup
Rob lives and breathes coffee. We know, we know, everyone says that – but, seriously. Rob is hardcore. He’ll be brewing a spectacular blend of the Ironman and our Colombia El Faldon, and infusing his routine with all the passion and love of coffee we’ve come to expect from Rob. Catch his routine on Thursday (4/14) at 11:35am (EST).
Devin Chapman – US Barista Championship
Devin is a beast of a competitor. He’s the only person to win a clean sweep at regionals, taking both NW Barista and Brewers Competitions in 2012. He’ll be using two coffees, the El Faldon and our Brazil Matilde Mahogany, to explore “excellence” as a subjective concept, focusing on how our perceived value of certain coffees can trump the “market value” for specific regions/flavor profiles. Catch his routine on Saturday (4/16) at 12:25pm (EST).
If you’re planning to be at SCAA this weekend, come see us at booth #350! We’ll be pouring Draft Latte and our Pure Black cold-pressed coffee on tap.