LONG BEACH, Calif., April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Baristas, those talented people who master espresso machines and make coffee and espresso-drink making a profession, have their own national competition. This spring, after a nationwide search, only one barista will be crowned best-of-the-best at the 2004 United States Barista Championship. The match heats up April 23 - 26 at the Specialty Coffee Association of America's (SCAA) 16th Annual Conference & Exhibition in Atlanta, Ga. at the Georgia World Congress Center. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040412/LAM039 ) The U.S. Barista Championship encourages and recognizes professional achievement in the art and skill of espresso beverage preparation and service. Thirty-three expert baristas from around the country will vie for the U.S. championship title in Atlanta. These coffee pros represent some of the best places for specialty coffee from coast to coast. The champion will go on to compete at the World Barista Championship in Trieste, Italy, June 18-20. The 2004 U.S. Barista Championship is sponsored by: Platinum Sponsor: Krups; Silver Sponsor: Da Vinci Gourmet; Official Espresso Equipment Sponsor: Espresso Specialists Inc.; and our Official Blender Sponsor: Vita-Mix Corporation. Baristas from across the country will battle and demonstrate the art of espresso-making, creating some of the world's finest coffee concoctions. Competitors will navigate through a maze of judges and photographers while maintaining composure preparing and servicing 12 coffee concoctions -- four espressos, four cappuccinos, and four specialty coffee drinks of their own creation -- all within a 15-minute timeframe. Seven USBC Certified Judges -- one head judge, two technical judges, and four sensory judges -- will evaluate each of the competitors. Competitors have 45-minutes of actual competition time: * 15 minutes of station preparation time, adjusting grind, etc. * 15 minutes to prepare and service four Espressos, four Cappuccinos, four Signature Drinks * 15 minutes of clean-up time to ready the station for next competitor "Krups thanks America's barista," said Jean-Paul Ciquier, Krups Senior Vice President of Marketing. "We are committed to supporting the nation's coffee experts and aficionados who uphold the highest standards of espresso preparation. We wish all participants the best of luck and hope all enjoy a weekend of great coffee and a wonderful competition." Ted Lingle, executive director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, recognizes and appreciates the achievement of baristas nationwide. "With so many Americans purchasing their desired beverage at local coffeehouses, they've helped to elevate and showcase the profession of being a barista in America. Today there are an estimated 140,000 baristas in the U.S.," said Lingle. The championship event is open to conference and exhibition attendees. A $45 Exhibit Hall Pass is available for all three days of the show at SCAA's website, www.scaa.org, or on-site at the Georgia World Congress Center beginning Thursday, April 22nd at 1:00 pm. U.S. Barista Championship Schedule of Events: * Friday, April 23 - Round One, 11 a.m. - 4:25 p.m. * Saturday, April 24 - Round One cont., 11 a.m. - 4:25 p.m.; Semi-Finalists Announced, 5 - 5:45 p.m. * Sunday, April 25 - Semi-Finals, 11 a.m. - 3:35 p.m.; Finalists announced, 4:30 - 5 p.m. * Monday, April 26 - Finals, 11 a.m. - 1:25 p.m.; Awards ceremony, 2:30 - 3:15 p.m. Listing of U.S. Barista Championship Participants, and some of the best places for specialty coffee nationwide: * Daryn Berlin, Counter Culture Coffee, Inc., Durham, North Carolina * Tina Borba, Caffe e Via, Walnut Creek, California * Megan Borunda, Diedrich Coffee, Orange, California * Jay Caragay, Jay's Shave Ice & Hawaiian Coffee, Timonium, Maryland * Tom Childs, Bongo Java Roasting Co., Nashville, Tennessee * Nicholas Cho, Murky Coffee, Washington D.C. * Ryan Dennhardt, Barista's Daily Grind, Kearney, Nebraska * Aaron Duckworth, Espresso dell' Anatra, Kansas City, Missouri * Natalie Harry, Cup A Joe, Chapel Hill, North Carolina * Sandy Hon, Java Jazz: Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas * Elizabeth Justus, Open Eye Cafi, Carrboro, North Carolina * Hope Laceria, Caffe e Via, Walnut Creek, California * Dustin Manning, Rock Hill, Roasting Co., Rock Hill, South Carolina * Esther Nelson, Jasper's Coffee Company, Des Moines, Washington * Andy Newbom, Barefoot Coffee Roasters, Santa Clara, California * Steve Osburn, Coffee People, Portland, Oregon * Heather Perry, Coffee Klatch, San Dimas, California * Mark Pfaff, Jasper's Coffee Company, Des Moines, Washington * Joe Raines, Lava Java, Ridgefield, Washington * Spencer Roberts, The Sentient Bean, Lawrence, Kansas * Sarah Schuckman, Cup A Joe, Chapel Hill, North Carolina * Bronwen Serna, Hines Public Market Coffee, Inc., Seattle, Washington * Shane Sewell, Heritage Coffee Co., Juneau, Alaska * Brady Stewart, A Southern Season, Chapel Hill, North Carolina * Byron Sweet, Muddy Waters Coffeehouse, Elizabeth City, North Carolina * David Dial, Java Heads Coffee & Roasting Ltd., Tallahassee, Florida * Phuong Tran, Lava Java, Ridgefield, Washington * Zack Vance, Coffee People, Hillsboro, Oregon * Michael Wickman, Cow & Bean, Dauphin Island, Alabama * Stephanie Wiley, Espresso dell' Anatra, Kansas City, Missouri * Billy Wilson, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Portland, Oregon * Two Representatives from Zoka Coffee Roaster & Tea Company, Seattle, Washington. About the SCAA Founded in 1982, SCAA is the world's largest coffee trade association with over 2,500 member companies. SCAA members are located in over 40 countries and represent every segment of the specialty coffee industry, from coffee growers to coffee roasters and retailers. The SCAA's mission is to be the recognized authority on specialty coffee, providing a common forum for the development and promotion of coffee excellence and sustainability. The SCAA's dedication to excellence in coffee is realized through the setting of quality standards for the industry; conducting research on coffee, equipment and perfection of craft; and providing education, training, resources and business services for members. The SCAA's annual conference is held in a different U.S. city each year and is the coffee industry's largest gathering and exhibition.
SOURCE Specialty Coffee Association of America