On the Ground at the Big Central

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Barista Magazine Publisher Kenneth R. Olson is in Minneapolis this weekend for the Big Central, which brings four—count ‘em, four—competitions together under one roof. Thanks to the generous support of hosts Cafe Imports and Curtis, the event has attracted a great crowd and loads of excited, talented competitors.

The South Central Brewers Cup, the South Central Barista Competition, the North Central Brewers Cup, and the North Central Barista Competition are all taking place this weekend. You can watch the whole thing live RIGHT HERE.

This is the first competition to take place with the new, controversial format: there will be NO finals round for the barista competitions. That means baristas will perform one time and one time only, be judged by different judges, and then a winner will be announced on Sunday. We’ll see how it all shakes out.

Ken has been sending photos from the competition for us to share with you, so in case you’re not able to be there in person, here are some scenes from Minneapolis this weekend.

Cafe Imports hosted a terrific opening party last night.

Cafe Imports hosted a terrific opening party last night.

Emcee Joe Marrocco of Cafe Imports is probably the best emcee ever. I love him.

Emcee Joe Marrocco of Cafe Imports is probably the best emcee ever. I love him.

Nathanael May of Portland Roasting (right) head judges.

Nathanael May of Portland Roasting (right) head judges.

This is what community building looks like, people.

This is what community building looks like, people.

Pretty good crowd gathered in Minneapolis for the Big Central.

Pretty good crowd gathered in Minneapolis for the Big Central.

Waaazzzup, Lorenzo Perkins?

Waaazzzup, Lorenzo Perkins?

Brant Curtis (right) of event sponsor Curtis, discusses the award-winning Gold Cup Brewer with on lookers, including Cody (right) of Collectivo Coffee.

Brant Curtis (right) of event sponsor Curtis, discusses the award-winning Gold Cup Brewer with on lookers, including Cody (right) of Collectivo Coffee.

The Brewers Cup is under way!

The Brewers Cup is under way!

Joe Marrocco of Cafe Imports interviews competitors after their performances.

Joe Marrocco of Cafe Imports interviews competitors after their performances.

The audience watches presentations with rapt attention.

The audience watches presentations with rapt attention.

The event space is a very cool old school boxing gym. Nice work picking this, Cafe Imports!

The event space is a very cool old school boxing gym. Nice work picking this, Cafe Imports!

Skip of Dalla Corte chats with attendees about the first ever U.S. Latte Art Championship which will take place this year. Competition judge Sonja Grant (right) helps Skip answer questions.

Skip of Dalla Corte chats with attendees about the first ever U.S. Latte Art Championship which will take place this year. Competition judge Sonja Grant (right) helps Skip answer questions.

Get your Ringside seat! The Big Central continues through Sunday, when the winners of all four competitions will be announced.

Get your Ringside seat! The Big Central continues through Sunday, when the winners of all four competitions will be announced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

baristamagazine

Barista Magazine is the leading trade magazine in the world for the professional coffee community.