The Road to Kansas City
Currently, I am sitting at Albuquerque International Sunport with my colleagues and good friends, Drew & Alex, and we are on our way to Kansas City, MO for the USCC Qualifiers! Barista competitions are a huge part of the greater specialty coffee community, such that they're one of the best ways for coffee professionals from all over to meet, network, and hang out.
This will be my second time representing Cartel at a barista competition. If you're not familiar with the format, competitors are asked to prepare a 10-minute presentation centered around the coffee of their choosing. Six drinks are served over three courses to two judges, and you're judged on the quality of your beverages, technical skill & consistency, and the overall impression you leave while presenting. I'm using a #carteldirectsource coffee from Antigua, Guatemala called the Santa Clara. Our Head Roaster & Green Buyer, Paul Haworth, visited this farm and the producer, Ricardo Zelaya, back in 2014. It's a really delicious coffee, and I especially can't wait until we have it on the shelves!
My really good friend, Cheyanne, came to a few of my practice sessions to capture some of the process for me. One of the best parts of prepping for competition was getting to work closely with so many different people, like Crudo/Okra mixologist, Riley Jones.
Next week, I'll be posting an in-depth blog about my experience at competition this season and why it's become an important part of my journey through coffee. I've listed a few social media accounts you can follow to keep updated on the happenings of the event all week. Gotta jet!