USBC Underway

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Today was Day 1 of the United States Barista Championship. Twenty-five competitors from across the country were on stage here in Minneapolis at the USBC for the first day of competition.

Though I didn’t have a chance to watch all 25 competitors, someone had to set up the Barista Magazine booth (#2333 if you’re around the show), the magazine’s amazing editor, Sarah Allen, saw each and every performance as she was the emcee for the day. Here she is with Brett Walker from Zoka Coffee in Seattle.

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Sarah says the competition is one the toughest she’s ever seen, and judging from the routines I was lucky enough to see, I’d say she’s right. Again.

Below I’ve posted some pics from the competitors I saw today. We’ll have more as the USBC moves through the first round, to the semi-finals, to the finals.

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Justin Tiesl from Alterra Coffee in Milwaukee pours his capps.

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One of Intelligentsia’s Los Angeles team members, Kyle Glanville, had a strong performance.

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Peter Middlecamp had a short trip to the competition as he lives just across the Mississippi River in St. Paul.

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Jeremy Sterner came from Annapolis, Maryland to compete at the USBC.

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Lance Nichols from Gimme! Coffee in Ithaca, New York works on his sig drink.

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Courtney Robinson (above) and Les Stoneham (below) both competed for La Terza Coffee in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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The La Marzocco competition machines, as you may have noticed from the photos, are red hot (or is it hot red?) either way, the matched the sweater sported by Katie Duris from murky coffee.

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Scott Lucey, Barista Magazine’s famous bathtub cover model was another Alterra rep in today’s round.

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Chris Deferio, who spends many a morning at the various Coffee Fests judging latte art with Sarah, preps for his competition time.

Great work by all of the competitors, and to those who I didn’t get a chance to see and therefore shoot, I apologize, and I promise make it to the finals, and you’ll see my camera so much you’ll probably want to pull a Sean Penn on it.

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