When the ranking for the 2013 United States Barista Championship had been announced, the finalists looked just exhausted, so we wanted to give them some space to be with their friends and family, and decompress. Since then, I’ve been able to chat with all six of them about what was going through their head during the final round of the 2013 USBC. Today through Saturday, we’ll be posting these short Q&As with each of the six finalists, one per day. We hope you enjoy getting inside the heads of these coffee masterminds as much as I did.
THE FRENCH PRESS
SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA
Sarah: Nick, where did you come from?? You blasted onto the scene in the preliminaries and just kept on killing it through the finals! Tell us now in retrospect how you feel your performance in the final round went.
Nick: My finals round performance was definitely the most fun I’ve had competing thus far. I think part of it was knowing that I had done what I came to Boston to do. I thought I would be nervous, but I was actually more relaxed than ever. There is something empowering about being amongst a strong group a competitors like that. Everyone knows the stakes are high, so the level of performance naturally rises with the competition.
Sarah: Would you change anything if you could?
Nick: Tough question. I let my espresso shots go a second longer than i wanted, my coffee scored well, just not quite as well as Saturday. That’s how it goes though, one day coffee can be poppin off the charts, sweet and clean, and the next day it’s not as tasty. Other than that everything went REALLY well, I felt good about it.
Sarah: You were using some sick coffee from Verve, right? Tell us about it!
Nick: My coffee was two lots from Huila (Naranjos and Macizo). Its Verve’s current Streetlevel, which seasonally changes. Colby, Jesse, and Jared all thought it would score really well, so I committed to it. It has great sweetness, a super juiciness acidity, and good body. Changing coffees and routines three weeks out was definitely uncomfortable for me, but I knew that if I put in work, it could happen. Jared Truby was my biggest resource, and helped out a lot with the coffee and structure.
Thanks so much, Nick, for the part you played in making the 2013 USBC final round one of the most exciting competition rounds we’ve ever seen!
Stay tuned for our next one-on-one post-competition interview with another USBC finalist tomorrow…