Yawn, yawn, yawn? Winter break is over, people! Time to get crankin into the new competition season. There’s a bonanza of coffee centric competitions starting up this month and continuing into next—be sure to check back here for more updates soon. But so ya know what’s up in the coming weeks…
First up: January 16
Batdorf & Bronson‘s Manual Brew Battle: OLY vs. ATL (open to all!)
Taking place at 4 p.m. in Olympia, Wash., and at 7 p.m. in Atlanta, Georgia (so LIVE in both places)
This is what Batdorf says about the event:
“A Manual Brewing Battle is this: a coffee brewing competition whereby baristas are judged not on the method, but on the aspects of the finished cup. It’s a blind-judged competition, and is totally fair for all. All use the same coffee, and each barista has 10 minutes to submit their final brew to the judges who evaluate it based on aroma, flavor, body, and balance. The scoring is done by a panel of three judges which includes a local coffee lover (not a professional), a local coffee professional, and a local chef. The competition will be against the Atlanta and Southeast region baristas that will be at our Atlanta roastery via Skype video chat.
The public is invited and encouraged to attend. Snacks, fun and coffee will be provided, along with live music by Penniped (in Olympia).
Prizes: First place will win a Manual Brewing Package that will include a Baratza Preciso Grinder, a Clever Dripper, an Aeropress, a Hario V60, and a new Coava DISK.
Second Place will win a Baratza Maestro Grinder, Coffee to be named, and a top secret Manual Brewing Equipment package.
Third Place will win a Coffee Package, along with a Coava DISK, and some other goodies.
Don’t miss this really great opportunity to gather with fellow baristas and learn while you have fun! There will be food and beverages, as well as live music from bands on both coasts! Invite all your friends! All are welcome!
Coffee: The coffee used in both OLY and ATL comes to us from across the pond, London, to be precise, compliments of our good friends James and Anette at Square Mile. We’ll be using their amazing Suke Quto (fully washed) from the Oromio Co-Op in Ethiopia!”
Next up: January 20
RBC NYC‘s Manual Brew Battle
Here’s what our friends at RBC NYC have to say about this upcoming coffee extravaganza:
Thinking your barista skills are ready to take the spotlight? RBC NYC is opening their doors for their first ever Manual Brew Down, a throwdown-style competition for coffee enthusiasts and baristas to show off their manual brewing skills.
The caffeinated showdown will kick off at 7:30 PM on Thursday, January 20 as a free, after-hours private event—simply show up with your favorite beans and brewing tools at 7:15 to sign up. Contestants will get to show off their recipes for a panel of judges spanning the top names in NYC’s coffee scene—Katie Cargulio of Counter Culture Coffee, Christopher Van Schyndel of Barismo, and Mike Jones from Third Rail Coffee—who’ll evaluate each cup for flavor, clarity, balance, body, finish.
Not only will contestants get to show off their coffee skills, but they’ll also get to play with RBC’s cutting-edge brewing technology. The latest permanent fixture in the RBC lineup that brewers can test drive is the Uber-boiler, whose superhero-style name indicates its great potential to yield the perfect cup through ultra-precise temperature control. A brand new product, the Uber-boiler is flying high on baristas’ radars, but has yet to hit consumers, who can only turn to RBC to enjoy the perfect cups it yields.
And given their status as NYC’s coffee technology forerunners, RBC will also be debuting the still-to-be-released Luminaire LB-1, an American-made, portable, ultra energy-efficient competitor to the Uber-boiler. The LB-1 offers the ability to instantly change temperature, volume and flow-rate for the most particular of needs or back-to-back brewing, cutting down brew time by 50% and offering a revolutionary interface that allows baristas to experiment and tweak their techniques. Since the brew down will serve as the Luminaire’s sneak preview, brewers will even have the chance to offer their feedback to the company before the final product hits the market!
Need a little more incentive? No competition is complete without prizes, and RBC’s sponsors—Barismo, Coava, Counter Culture, Madcap and Ritual—will be providing an array of brewing equipment, t-shirts, totes, beans, and more for the winners. To top things off, beer will be lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery.