SE & NE Barista Competitors: Take Advantage of a Day-Long Competition Workshop on January 6

East Coast baristas proved how dedicated they are during last fall's MANE conference

My pal Gerra Harrigan of InterAmerican Coffee told me that her company along with WBC Espresso Machine Sponsor Nuova Simonelli are teaming up to offer a way-cool, super intense competition prep session on January 6, to get competitors in the Southeast and Northeast Regionals ready to kill it onstage at the Big Eastern Barista Competition, scheduled for January 17–19 in Durham, North Carolina.

The Big Eastern Workshop will take place January 6, from 12:30 to the evening (see schedule below), at the Red Fez, 49 Peck St., Providence, Rhode Island.

Only 10 people can participate, so reserve your spot now! It’s free and open to registered competitors of the Big Eastern, and will fill up on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, contact Gerra: Gerra Harrigan, InterAmerican Coffee, (508)422-9233, gerrah@iaccoffee.com

The one-day event will give participants plenty of hands on time at the competition machine—Nuova Simonelli’s Aurelia T3—and the official competition grinder from Mahlkönig. Certified United States Barista Championship judges will be on hand to answer questions and offer advice, and participants will explore the complexities of espresso in a special espresso evaluation cupping.

East Coast baristas proved how dedicated they are during last fall's MANE conference. 10 competitors in the Big Eastern competition are invited to a special day-long workshop designed to get them in shape for the stage!

East Coast baristas proved how dedicated they are during last fall’s MANE conference. 10 competitors in the Big Eastern competition are invited to a special day-long workshop designed to get them in shape for the stage!

There’s even going to be a public speaking workshop so competitors can learn how to tame those stage jitters (hey, we all get ‘em). 2012 USBC Champ Katie Carguilo will be there for a Q&A session, too—I mean really, what else do you need to get ready to kick ass at the Big Eastern?

Katie Carguilo graced the cover of Barista Magazine in February of this year, when she was still the reigning USBC Champ. She'll be at the Big Eastern workshop in Providence all day January 6 to help competitors ready themselves.

Katie Carguilo graced the cover of Barista Magazine in February of this year, when she was still the reigning USBC Champ. She’ll be at the Big Eastern workshop in Providence all day January 6 to help competitors ready themselves.

This kind of event is also awesome for competitors who may be planning to travel to the Big Eastern solo—if you attend this workshop, in all likelihood you’ll make some friends who will support you and cheer you on come competition time. Community is a huge asset when you’re going into a stressful environment like competition.

Here’s how the day will shake down:

12–12:30 p.m.: Welcome and T3 introduction, with Lou Barba
Overview of the day’s activities, into of guests, discussion of T3 attributes, what makes it different from other machines, and tips for baristas.

12:30–1:30 p.m.: Rules, Rules, Rules, with Dan Streetman, Kari Guddeck, and Katie Carguilo
Join two USBC head judges as well as 2012 USBC Champ Katie Carguilo for an update on the 2014 USBC rules and regulations, as well as insight as to how the score sheet works, how competitors get (and lose) points. A mock competitor will be pulling shots for the audience to evaluate with head judges and Katie to calibrate.

1:30–1:45 p.m.: Break. Group will be divided into two groups of 5 for the next sessions.

1:45–3 p.m.
GROUP A: Espresso Evaluation, with Katie, Kari, and 3 sensory judges
Each competitor will have 15 minutes to pull espresso for a USBC head judge, a USBC champ, and 3 USBC sensory judges for evaluation and mock scoring.
GROUP B: Espresso Cupping, with licensed Q Graders, Todd Mackey and Ana Malozzi
Each competitor will have 15 minutes to cup their espresso with the group using the SCAA cupping form. Analysis to reveal tasting notes and further feedback on espresso.

3:15–4:30 p.m.
GROUP A: Espresso Cupping, with licensed Q Graders, Todd Mackey and Ana Malozzi
See above
GROUP B: Espresso Evaluation, with Katie, Kari, and 3 sensory judges
See above

4:45–6p.m. Public Speaking Workshop
Tips from Gamm Theater’s Jennifer Madden on public speaking, presentations, and performances. Learn pre-talk stretches and exercises to loosen your body and mind. Get pointers on enunciation, hand gestures, volume control, and voice projection. Each competitor will also get time to workshop their competition talking points with Ms. Madden.

6–7 p.m. Dinner, family style

7:30–10 p.m. Barista Madness!
An open-invitation barista party, along with a “Chopped”-style competition, with Katie as Ted Allen!

About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.