December 1-2 was the first qualifying round for the US Coffee Championships, hosted in Denver, Colorado. Our Head of Coffee Education, Eden-Marie Abramowicz, met two of our sponsored baristas from the broader coffee community to compete in the first round.
Edgar Reyes, from Houston Texas, and Sloane Wachob, a Denver local, both competed in the Brewer’s Cup. In addition to receiving financial sponsorship, Sloane and Edgar have been training with Eden-Marie via Skype for the past couple months. They prepared for blind brewing, on Saturday, and their individual presentations on Sunday.
Both Edgar and Sloane selected coffees roasted in the Denver area for their presentations. Edgar brewed Switchback Coffee’s La Palma y El Tucan La Montanita, a lactic washed coffee from Colombia. “Lactose processing results in a really unique, fruit-forward flavor, and Edgar focussed his presentation on achieving the sweetest coffee possible,” Eden-Marie said, “He was very charming, and was able to create an ‘aha’ moment for a lot of people.”
Sloane brewed Girma Eshu, a washed process Yirgacheffe from Commonwealth Coffee. They focussed on supporting community and drew parallels between everyone that came together to make their presentation possible, and everything necessary to create a great cup of coffee. Sloane’s worked in coffee for several years and is a champion of growing and engaging Denver’s local coffee community.
Over 100 competitors participated over the weekend, and although Edgar and Sloane won’t be continuing to the Championships in Kansas City, they both gained comfort in their skills and made connections in the wider coffee community. The environment was very supportive, emphasizing the exchange of ideas and bettering ourselves as an industry.
The next qualifying round is in Nashville, TN. Eden-Marie will be heading up with two more sponsored competitors: Sarah Hise, from Dallas, and Talitha Clemmons, from Oklahoma City, as well as Michael TKTK, a Revelator barista.
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