The newest competition to his the specialty coffee scene is the America’s Best Coffeehouse Competition! And it’s a really super cool one. Entire cafes apply for the event, which will have its inaugural contest live at Coffee Fest Seattle September 21–23. So it’s an honest-to-goodness team competition, which unites a staff and the product they serve.
The 20 coffeehouses in the Western Region that have qualified for this event are:
* Tierra Mia Coffee Company – Huntington Park, CA
* Wind Horse Coffee -Milwaukie, OR
* Bird Rock Coffee Roasters – La Jolla, CA
* Heart Coffee Roasters -Portland, OR
* Green Earth Coffee Roasters – Lake Forest, CA
* Grinders Coffee -The Dalles, OR
* Augie’s Coffee House – Redlands, CA
* The Woods Coffee – Lynden, WA
* Klatch Coffee – San Dimas, CA
* Anthem Coffee & Tea -Puyallup, WA
* Brew Coffee Bar – Santa Monica, CA
* Barracuda Coffee Company – Richland, WA
* Pendl’s Bakery & Café – Driggs, ID
* Roasters Coffee Bar – Richland, WA
* The Place to Be – Canby, OR
* Trabant Coffee & Chai -Seattle, WA
* Mellelo Coffee Roasters – Central Point, OR
* Jewel Box Café – Seattle, WA
* Dog River Coffee – Hood River, OR
* BlueSteele Coffee Company – Tacoma, WA
Here’s how it works: 20 coffeehouses have qualified for the first round, which is determined in part by YOU: go to Coffee Fest’s website and watch the video entries, and vote for your favorite! These 20 shops will also be personally visited and evaluated by Coffee Fest and Secret Shopper judges who will rate the shops based on customer service, drink quality, ambiance, cleanliness, organization, and efficiency.
On September 5, the top 8 shops will be announced—but before they can celebrate making it to this next stage, these 8 teams will need to focus on the live Coffee Fest Seattle competition. They’ll compete for $2500 in cash, the championship trophy and the impressive title of America’s Best Coffeehouse Western Championship.
In Seattle, on the show floor, teams of three from each of the 8 coffeehouses will fill roles such as barista, bar bar, greeter, cashier, and servers for the attendees and judges. The teams will be voted on by not just the judges, but the actual Coffee Fest Seattle attendees, who will rate them on who serves the best coffee, who has the best teamwork, whose customer service is best, and which team works with the most poise and professionalism under pressure.