Northwest Bound!

Well, yeah, technically I am in the Northwest already. But today I’m leaving Portland, Ore., and heading up to Tacoma, Wash., to attend the Northwest Regional Barista Competition!

Ever seen this guy before? Kidding! Billy Wilson—owner of the two BARISTA cafes in Portland—has won the Northwest Regional oh, I dunno, a few times. He won in 2010, with a really creative and awesome presentation in which he had three different coffees available for the judges to choose from. Much hopper switching (as in this photo) took place. But Billy's not competing this year... (maybe it has something to do with the fact that he had 3 kids and two busy cafes... I'm just sayin.)

The Northwest Regional, which is being super generously hosted by Dillanos Coffee Roasters, is taking place in the Tacoma Convention Center today and tomorrow for the preliminary round, and on Sunday for the finals. Here’s the schedule of events:

Friday (today)

11 a.m. to 5 p.m. ROUND ONE, DAY ONE

Saturday, Jan. 29

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. ROUND ONE, DAY TWO

4:30–5 p.m. ANNOUNCE FINALISTS

7–11 p.m. BIG OLD PARTY AT METRONOME COFFEE, 6TH STREET AND UNION AVE., TACOMA (everyone welcome)

Sunday, Jan. 30

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

1:30–2 p.m. AWARDS CEREMONY

And I’m about to give you a list of all the competitors, but before I do that, I wanted to let you all know that even if you can’t be in Tacoma this weekend to watch the action in person, you can see it live from your own computer! All the haps of the NWRBC will be available live on Justin TV. For some reason I can’t embed it here, so go to THIS LINK to follow it.

OK, and now… the competitors!

(In order of performance)

Ashley Rauch, Sterling Coffee Roasters, Portland, Oregon

Emily Jackson, Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters, Olympia, Washington

Kelly Kieft, Cellar Door Coffee Roasters, Portland, Oregon

Caleb Peterson, Noble Coffee Roasting, Ashland, Oregon

Kyle Salmi, Albina Press, Portland, Oregon

Laila Ghambari, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Seattle, Washington

Marty Lopes, BARISTA, Portland, Oregon

Michael Cannon, Starbucks Coffee, Kent, Washington

Michael Fernandez, Espresso Parts, Olympia, Washington

Pierce Young, Visions Espresso Service, Seattle, Washington

Rick Cox, Republic Espresso Restoration, Auburn, Washington

Ryan Willbur, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Portland, Oregon

Ray Penrod, Public Domain, Portland, Oregon

Devin Chapman, Coava Coffee Roasters, Portland, Oregon

Jenni Dorsey, Case Study Coffee, Portland, Oregon

Lauren Ayrey, Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters, Olympia, Washington

Adam McGovern, Sterling Coffee Roasters, Portland, Oregon

Bryan Arndt, Java on Sherman, Coeur D’Alene, Idaho

Thomas Surprenant, Cellar Door Coffee Roasters, Portland, Oregon

Jordan Barber, Case Study Coffee, Portland, Oregon

Kyle Brewer, Java on Sherman, Coeur D’Alene, Idaho

Robbie Britt, Espresso Parts, Olympia, Washington

Katherine Hartline, Independent, Seattle, Washington

Beau Stumberg, Off the Leaf, Billings, Montana

Tyler Stevens, BARISTA, Portland, Oregon

Stephen Zirschky, Tully’s Coffee, Snohomish, Washington

Jonathan Freihofer, Public Domain, Portland, Oregon

Jared Gum, Olympia Coffee Roasting, Olympia, Washington

Thomas Pikaart, Water Avenue Coffee/American Barista & Coffee School, Portland, Oregon

Ryan Bisson, Compass Coffee Roasting, Vancouver, Washington

Samuel Purvis, Coava Coffee Roasters, Portland, Oregon

Sarah Dooley, Espresso Parts, Seattle, Washington

Man, what a line-up! This is going to be a seriously fierce fight for the Northwest Regional Barista Competition crown! Stay tuned as I will be posting photos over the weekend from the event. And may the U.S. Regional games begin!

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.