quick update

i'm still trying to finalize thoughts on the USBC. i have pretty much everything in my head, but i'm having a hard time structuring my thoughts in a cohesive message.

in the meantime, i'm writing something about the physiology of taste as a background piece to stuff about training your palate. it's pretty cool - i'm remembering a lot of stuff i'd forgotten.

i also just finished watching Billy Wilson and Chris Deferio in eXtreme barista (tm). it's actually a far less goofy video than you'd expect and both of them show off some excellent latte art.

finally, i've been cupping some coffees (as always). standouts included the new Harar (cleaner than many of the type, with nice liquorice and chocolate when hot and some lovely berry as it cools. pretty big body, nice) the Yirgacheffe (classic lemon zest and floral high-tones and a really wonderful Assam tea flavour that i dig) and, of course, my current favorites the Bolvia Ciena CoE (incredibly sweet, floral and fruit high-tones, grape skin structure and a root-beer candy finish) and the Rwanda Karaba (sweet/tart berry and chocolate ganache, tons of floral tones).


end of the photos

and today we have a tribute to the competitors.
i know i've got a stack of photos of them already, but, well... there are a couple more i liked.

every single one of the baristas who competed at the USBC is incredibly skilled at what they do and incredibly passionate about coffee. rockstars, one and all.

and a couple competitors - showing class and supporting their peers at the finals.

it was fun.


more USBC photos

and the photo onslaught continues...

the USBC wouldn't run without the incredible volunteers - judges, runners, machine setup and maintence... the list goes on and on. i wish i had a photo of Michelle Campbell - without whom there simply would be no USBC. we all owe here a huge debt of gratitude.
too many times events like this focus on the winners and the losers and miss all the people who actually make this work. for many of these people, this is not a job and they don't often get paid to do it. instead it is a passion and a calling and they all deserve our thanks and respect.
i'm going to think more about this last weekend before writing up my thoughts, lessons learned, etc.

in the meantime - some more photos. first, a tribute to our boy Kyle Larson.
Kyle's a rocking barista, the NW Regional Champ and an all around good guy. his performance was incredibly good.

(important note... all these photos were not taken by me - they were taken by Valerie instead. she's quite a good photographer and it's near impossible to shoot an event like this on crutches.)



And the finalists were...

Phuong, Matt, Ryan, Amber, Billy and Ellie

they all did amazing jobs. it was really, really impressive. the difference between last year and this year is pretty amazing.
rock star baristas... one and all.

and the Medalists were...

Ellie Hudson-Matuzak (Intelligentsia)
Phuong Tran (Lava Java)
Billy Wilson (Albina Press)

the 2005 United States Barista Champion!!