Meet North Central Regional Barista Champ Charlie Habegger!

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As the proud Media Sponsor of the United States Barista Championship since 2005, Barista Magazine has always compiled and produced a beautiful printed program that serves as a guide, collectors item, introduction to the Regional Barista Champions and the Regional Brewers Cup Champions, all the party info for the SCAA show, and much more! 2013 is no different. This year’s Official United States Barista Championship.U.S. Brewers Cup Event Program is at the printer right now! But we thought we’d give you a sneak peek at some of the most popular content in the program, the Regional Barista Competition Champs and Regional Brewers Cup Champs profiles.

So without further ado…

 

CHARLIE HABEGGER
NORTH CENTRAL REGIONAL BARISTA CHAMPION
INTELLIGENTSIA COFFEE
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

Believe me, you want to meet Charlie. He's totally cool.

Believe me, you want to meet Charlie. He’s totally cool.

Years you’ve been a barista?

5

 

What’s your job title now?

Retail Educator and Green Coffee Buyer

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If you could offer any advice to a newbie competitor, what would it be?

This is only my second time, but here goes: Make sure you enjoy what you’re doing. Be ready to be watched. If you begin your show with a tea line, you’ll be “the tea guy” from that point onward (not that that’s a bad thing). Be a sensory judge for somebody else. Don’t try to win. Let your coffee decide what it likes in its signature drink. Learning to sound like yourself is so much harder than you think. Bring whiskey.

 

You’re going to Kenya with Café Imports! What do you hope to get out of that trip?

I am going to absorb every moment of it like a sponge.

 

Why are you back to compete again? What’s the thrill?

The thrill is really the reminder that there are so many other people with lives like yours, obsessed with exploring this thing that is taken for granted by most of the world. I’ve always felt great dignity in studying coffee, and it’s nice to feel the presence of other people doing the same.

 

How do you make coffee at home?

The same way I make tea, kombucha, and pickles: with really, really good water!

 

Any favorite cafés?

Lula Cafe in Chicago is my favorite place on earth to drink a cup of coffee. They will make you a Chemex at the bar, and as you wait you will consider changing your order to a Fernet, because it just caught your eye, and for a brief moment you think that could be even more suitable. Soon the Chemex will arrive and it will taste solid and they will charge you $8 for it, or maybe less if someone at the bar recognizes you, but you want to pay, and tip, because the fact that a restaurant as good as Lula respects coffee makes your love for its walls and tables feel all the more permanent.

 

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.