To Tacoma!

Tomorrow begins the first (unofficial) day of the Northwest Regional Barista Competition (NWRBC), held in Tacoma, Washington, and hosted by Dillanos Coffee Roasters. We’re so excited!

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FYI, see the bottom of this post for a complete schedule.

Thursday will see all the wonderful volunteer judges going through their paces in order to prepare to evaluate some of the best baristas in the United States. NWRBC competitors hail from Oregon, Washington and Alaska. And they have been busy preparing! Last week, the American Barista & Coffee School in Portland, Ore., was host to a “Pre Game Warm up,” as WBC judge Brent Fortune went into some depth about the recent rule changes, and visitors got to play around on the Nuova Simonelli, the new official WBC and USBC espresso machine sponsor. The event, organized by the Barista Guild of America (Bronwen, Cam and Phuong primarily), was free to anyone interested.

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Cam Kellett of Lava Java, above, helped the attendees get to know the Aurelia.

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January Vawter of Blend Coffee in Portland, will be a first-time competitor.

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Jay Lijewski, who works for Dillanos and has spent the past several months working nonstop on the organization of the NWRBC, was on hand at the Warm-up to answer questions, as well. Here he is joined by Phuong (pink sweater) and Brett of Zoka.

I’ll be heading up to Tacoma on Friday morning, and blogging about the competition as I have a chance throughout the weekend. My official role at the competition will be understudy MC to the famous Chris Baca of Ritual, who will surely win best dressed. So I should have plenty of blogging time.

And now, the deets:

Competition venue: Temple Theater, 47 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma

Host hotel: Hotel Murano, 1320 Broadway Plaza

For last-minute information, changes, etc., please see Barista Exchange.

Friday, January 9

(Note: Times indicate competitors’ performance start time. All set up times are 10 minutes prior to time listed)
11 a.m.: Jordan Barber (Out of region)

11:20 a.m.: Michael Elvin, Espresso Parts, Olympia, Wash.

11:35 a.m.: Lauren Aiello, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Seattle, Wash.

11:50 a.m.: Sara Ziniewicz, Olympia Coffee Roasting, Olympia, Wash.

12:05 p.m.: Robbie Britt, Zoka Coffee Roasters, Seattle, Wash.

12:20 p.m.: Cam Kellett, Lava Java, Ridgefield, Wash.

12:35 p.m.: Lauren Ayrey, Batdorf & Bronson, Olympia, Wash.

12:50 p.m.: Alex Negranza, Trabant Coffee, Seattle, Wash.

1:05 p.m.: January Vawter, Blend Coffee, Portland, Ore.

1:20 p.m.: Brett Walker, Zoka Coffee Roasters, Seattle, Wash.

1:35 p.m.: Alex Pond, The Fresh Pot, Portland, Ore.

1:50 p.m.: Zachary Marvick, Satellite Cafe, Tacoma, Wash.

Wow, short day… OK, well the next thing that will happen on this day is the Latte Art Throwdown hosted by Black Water Cafe, 747 S. Faucett. There’s no time listed, so check in on the day of… or show up at 7ish. That sounds safe.

Saturday, January 10

11:05 a.m.: Jordan Barber (Out of region)

11:20 a.m.: Matt Christope, Batdorf & Bronson, Olympia, Wash.

11:35 a.m.: Claire Ghermley, Mon Ami Cafe, Vancouver, Wash.

11:50 a.m.: Matt Longoria, Trabant Coffee, Seattle, Wash.

12:05 p.m.: Kevin Fuller, The Albina Press, Portland, Ore.

12:20 p.m.: Ray Penrod, Little Red Bike Cafe, Portland, Ore.

12:35 p.m.: Louie Poore, Zoka Coffee Roasters, Seattle, Wash.

12:50 p.m.: Kristina Merryman, Lava Java, Ridgefield, Wash.

1:05 p.m.: Mark Pfaff, Victrola Coffee, Seattle, Wash.

1:20 p.m.: Samuel Purvis, Coffee House 5, Portland, Ore.

1:35 p.m.: Breanna Lloyd, Coffee Bean International, Portland, Ore.

3 p.m.: Announcement of finalists

And then there’s gonna be a big party that night (no time listed again…) at a place called Sanford & Son that Jay says is super cool. It’s at 743 Broadway. Everyone’s invited!

Sunday, January 11

FINALS! 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

AWARDS CEREMONY! 1:30 to 2 p.m.

See you all in Tacoma!!
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And now, a gratuitous picture of my new kitten, Timber:

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