It’s funny seeing all the news on my browser this morning about the best dressed at the Golden Globes, because Alex sorta brought our coffee world to that plane when he wore Prada in the preliminary round of the Northwest Regional Barista Competition, held this past weekend in Tacoma and hosted by Dillanos.
Alex in The Prada, above. Cause, ya know, most baristas wear Couture when they work bar.
But who cares about a stupid sweater when you can make make coffee like Alex can? Sunday’s final round brought a crew from Stumptown Coffee — head roaster Steve, green buyer Aleco, general manager Matt, and big-man-on-campus Duane — up from Portland to cheer on the three baristas using Stumptown who made it to the finals: Kristina from Lava Java, Kevin from the Albina Press, and Alex of The Fresh Pot. And Alex’s boss and friend, Michael Brooks, was on hand all weekend to support and cheer on the employee known at The Fresh Pot as A1.
The very best part of Alex’s performance was the connection he very genuinely feels with and conveyed about the Carmen Estate coffee he used. When he was announced the winner, Alex graciously thanked The Fresh Pot and Stumptown Coffee, but made a special point of thanking Carlos Aguilera of Carmen Estate. Hats off to you, Alex, on a job tremendously done.
And cheers to you, Señor Aguilera.
But man, was this a tough competition. All six finalists turned in impressive performances, and it was anyone’s guess who would take the top three positions.
Here are all 6 finalists—from left, Kristina from Lava Java, Brett from Zoka, Alex from The Fresh Pot, Robbie from Zoka, Michael from Espresso Parts, and Kevin from the Albina Press—with MC Baca.
Robbie of Zoka turned in a fantastic performance, and took third place honors. Here’s Robbie accepting one of the trophies, which were made by kids in an afterschool program in Tacoma that teaches youngsters how to blow glass.
Kevin from the Albina Press took second place for—get this—the third year in a row! Kevin is a hella pro, and always a total joy to watch on stage. Here’s Kevin accepting his trophy.
Finally, we held our collective breath as Baca read the first place winner: Alex, for whom this NWRBC was the second time he’d competed, is the 2009 Northwest Regional Barista Champion.
And there you have it: another regional said and done with. Thank you to Dillanos for doing such a spectacular job with this event—from an awesome venue, to a killer party, to comfy hoodies, and an entertaining few days—this weekend in Tacoma is one we’ll not soon forget.