Here’s how it works:
All coffeehouses in the U.S. and Canada, including individual units and chains, are eligible to compete. The competition is broken into three regions— Western, Central and Eastern—that will compete once per year. The Coffee Fest Seattle semifinals and finals will serve the Western region; Coffee Fest New York (March 8–10, 2013) will serve the Eastern region; and Coffee Fest Chicago (June 7–9, 2013) will serve the Central region.
For this first Region, 20 Field Qualifiers were chosen from open applications. Then those 20 coffeehouses were visited by judges, who narrowed the number of competitors to eight. All eight of those coffeehouses will compete at the America’s Best Coffeehouse Competition in Seattle this weekend (see schedule below).
An actual working coffeehouse has been developed at Coffee Fest Seattle, and each of eight teams will take over and work the bar for an hour each. Their drinks and service will be judges by both the official competition judges as well as Coffee Fest attendees themselves—so be sure to stop by and check out the action!
This semifinal round with the eight teams will take place on Friday, September 21, and Saturday, September 22. On Sunday, September 23, the top three coffeehouse teams will return to battle it out for first, second and third place honors!
Friday, September 21
12:15 p.m.: Heart Coffee Roasters
1:25 p.m.: The Woods Coffee
2:35 p.m.: Blue Steele Coffee Company
3:45 p.m.: Brew Coffee Bar
Saturday, September 22
12:15 p.m.: Klatch Coffee
1:25 p.m.: Dog River Coffee
2:35 p.m.: Tierra Mia Coffee Company
3:45 p.m.: Pendl’s Bakery & Cafe
Teams have been campaigning and practicing for months—this competition should be something really special, so if you’re in Seattle September 21, 22 and 23, be sure to come check it out!
Also, look for an article about how it went in the December/January issue of Barista Magazine!