North West Regional Barista and Brewers Cup Recap

Top six North West Regional Brewers Cup Finalist
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By  Laila Ghambari of Caffe Ladro

The NWRBC was February 1st through the 3rd in Seattle,WA and was hosted by Dillanos Coffee Roasters. The event was held in a beautiful location in SoDo called Urban Enoteca.

The Brewers Cup had and impressive 22 competitors this year. After the very controversial first round of compulsory brewing we had 6 finalists. All competitors were new to the finals this year but some had big shoes to fill. I’m speaking of competitor from Coava Coffee Roasters, Jeremy Richards, whose coworker Devin Chapman won this title last year. Batdorf & Bronson had two competitors make the finals, Andrew Tucker-MacLeod and Ben Jones. From Seattle we had Eric Evason from Tony’s Coffees and Teas, and Cole McBride of Visions Espresso, using coffee from local roaster Kuma Coffee Roasters. Also from Seattle, and the winner of the Brewers Cup, was Brandon Paul Weaver, of the newest roaster in town Slate Coffee Roasters. We will continue to wait patiently for the opportunity to taste these award-winning brews while their first café goes through final permitting.

The Barista competition was made up of 18 competitors. In both Barista and Brewers Competitions, only 2 states were represented, Washington and Oregon, out of the 6 states that makeup the NW region.

Lauren Lathrop of Public Domain
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On days 1 and 2 we had some highs and lows. Mishaps like whip cream charger fails, spilled milk pitchers, and unsealed shakers splattered the first round. We also had some exciting coffees served and very thought provoking performances touching on such topics as taste perception, vessels, and direct relationships.

All 6 finalists were seasoned competitors which just goes to show you to never let doing poorly the first time stop you from trying again. Both Lauren Lathrop, of Public Domain, and Tim Graham, another Slate Coffee Roasters competitor, showed their stuff in the 2011 competition season. Brett Felchner of Barista, made the finals of his first competition at the North Central Regional back in 2010. We also had returning finalist Collin Schneider, of Sterling Coffee Roasters.

In the end it was Devin Chapman, of Coava Coffee Roasters, who defended his title and walked away with the amazing opportunity to travel to Kenya, sponsored by Café Imports
Top six North West Regional Barista Finalist
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Maybe the most talked about of all though was the heartbreaking 1 point that separated Devin’s win to Cole McBride, of Visions Espresso, 2nd place podium. Cole made finals in both the barista and brewers cup this year, and after a less than desirable showing last year, his progress is nothing short of inspirational. I have a feeling Cole will not be letting that 1 point stand in his way at the USBC in Boston come April.

To view the complete list of winners and rankings, visit the
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