I’ve got to admit, I’m a little weary from Iceland still to be headed right into the fire-breathing mouth of Coffee Fest Seattle. I have been attacked by Pacific Northwest allergies—seems my body preferred the pollen-free environment of Iceland, and is now reacting via mucus to being back in the land of the green. But I’m fighting the good fight armed with generic allergy meds, bee pollen and DayQuil. En guard.
I leave for Seattle tomorrow morning for what is always an awesome coffee retailer show, Coffee Fest Seattle. Not only do we get what is hands down the best show for specialty coffee retailers all year, with a trade show floor packed with new gadgets and coffees and innovations, but we’re treated to tons of special activities geared toward the professional barista. And it all takes place in the spectacularly beautiful city of Seattle, Washington, USA (home to Ken’s beloved Huskies).
This weekend, September 25–27, Coffee Fest Seattle will play host to two of the most bitchen barista contests in the universe: the Millrock Freepour Latte Art Competition, and the Northwest Regional Barista Competition.
It’s a teensy-tiny roster of baristas scheduled to perform at the Northwest Regional, but we’ll be there cheering them on all the same!
Competitors will be…
Sam Purvis, Coffeehouse 5, Portland, Oregon
Nicholas Ealy-Elder, Albina Press, Portland, Oregon
Andrew Milstead, Urban Coffee Lounge, Kirkland, Washington
Craig Kerrick, Lynnwood, Washington
Sara Ziniewicz, BARISTA, Portland, Oregon
Ian Shaughnessy, Olympia Coffee Roasters, Olympia, Washington
Raul Rodas of Guatemala, competing out of region
Charlotte Deason, Coffeehouse Northwest, Portland, Oregon
Breanna Lloyd, Coffee Bean International, Portland, Oregon
Ryan Siu, The Black Drop Coffeehouse, Bellingham, Washington
Laila Ghambari, Urban Coffee Lounge, Kirkland, Washington
Billy Wilson, BARISTA, Portland, Oregon
Brittany Newhouse, Batdorf & Bronson, Olympia, Washington
But the fun and challenge don’t end when the sun goes down, oh no they don’t! The city-to-city latte art smackdown to end all latte art smackdowns is scheduled to take place at Victrola Coffee on Saturday night, and you just gotta be there!
Watch as the top 10 Seattle baristas battle it out against L.A. over live-streaming video as they fight for their cities’ reputations and a sweet grand prize: a trip to the other city and a bag full ‘o goodies generously provided by Visions Espresso Service.. The Seattle site is hosted by Victrola Coffee Roasters, Zoka Coffee & Tea, and Barista Exchange, and the L.A. site is hosted by Intelligentsia Coffee.
So on Saturday night, September 26 at 7 p.m., if you’re in Seattle for Coffee Fest, head over to Victrola Coffee’s roastery at 310 Pike Street for some smackin’ and some downin’.
And don’t forget to stop by Barista Magazine’s booth, #505, for a chat — we’d love to see you. And we will be offering our special Coffee Fest show rate for subscriptions and renewals, as well as selling our cool new tshirts! Leah, Sarah and Jessica will be on hand to say hello and answer any questions you have.
See you there!