I’m back in Washington and it’s nice to be home but I sure do miss Minneapolis. Espresso Parts was happy to be a regional sponsor for this weeks round of barista competitions in the “land of 10,000 lakes.” This was the first regional competition outside of the Northwest that I’ve been able to attend and it was fantastic. Cafe Imports & Wilbur Curtis Co. rolled out the red carpet for everyone.

Team EP arrived at the venue bright and early for day two of competitions. Heather is a head judge so she had to get right to work and I headed straight for the BGA cafe for my first drink of the day. Colin Whitcomb made me a cappuccino that almost made me cry it was so good. Double rainbows across the whole sky.

There were so many people supporting their coworkers, fellow baristas, family, and a good amount of attendees that were simply curious to see what we do. The place was packed! At times throughout the day that I couldn’t even find an empty seat.

I headed to the Brewers Cup area where I saw lots of Kalita, Chemex, and even Yama brewers being used. The Brewers Cup was a lot more fun to watch since they had moved to the open service round. During the open service round the brewers are able to interact with the judges unlike in the first compulsory round. Derek Craig of Anthology Coffee was really fun to watch. He used an Aeropress with a special custom made “dispersion screen”. During his time on stage he touched on how he’s not just passionate about learning about coffee but he’s also passionate about educating people too.

The lineup over at the barista comp was awesome. I was able to see Blueprint Coffee’s very own Mike Marquad compete. I’ve always enjoyed seeing him compete and this year was no different. Mike made a deconstructed coffee cocktail (no booze per the rules) that probably tasted amazing. Coffee cocktails are a trend that I really hope is here to stay. For example earlier this year Bikini Bar in NYC teamed up with Everyman Espresso to make a coffee cocktail menu!

Between the competitions, parties, and dinners there was hardly a chance to relax. As I finally get to do that now I’m flooded with wonderful memories. We toured the Cafe Imports Green coffee warehouse, helped with judges calibration, watched so many talented baristas compete, and we made a whole bunch of new friends. If you need a reminder why this industry is the best head to your next regional competition you won’t be disappointed.

Espresso Parts is proud to have sponsored such a top notch event. We look forward to continuing our support of the barista community.

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