It’s the very last competition before nationals! CoffeeChamps comes to New Orleans for two days of shot slinging, coffee brewing, bean toasting, and cup slurping—and we have the winners of each competition right here!
FROM STAFF REPORTS
On February 3 and 4, coffee professionals from all over the country flocked to New Orleans to participate in the
CoffeeChamps qualifying event, the penultimate coffee competition determining who will compete at the United States Coffee Competitions during the Global Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle in April. To earn a spot at the national competition, all competitors have to participate in one of two regional competition formats. We already know half of the competitors heading to Seattle—they competed in the CoffeeChamps competition in Reno, Nevada, late last year. Many of the Barista Competition and Brewers Cup competitors earned spots to CoffeeChamps at one of the eight preliminary events held last year, although many participants were also able to earn spots by being the fastest at refreshing their browsers and registering quickly for the few remaining slots. We covered them all here at Barista Magazine Online as follows: Seattle; Portland, Ore.; Greenville, S.C.; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; Denver; Washington, D.C.; Louisville, Ky.; and Tulsa, Okla.
While the Reno event was certainly competitive, many of the winners of the preliminary competitions chose to battle it out in New Orleans, meaning this competition was especially fierce. New Orleans brought together the winners from the Rancho Cucamonga (T. Ben Fischer); Denver (Brandon Acuña); Washington, D.C. (Jenna Gotthelf); Louisville (Matthew Scott); and Tulsa (Andrea Allen) competitions. Here are some of our favorite moments, including photos of the top finishers in each competition. To see a complete list of the rankings for the New Orleans qualifying events for the U.S. CoffeeChamps in Cup Tasters, Barista Competition, Brewers Cup, and Roasters, please visit
Barista Magazine’s Instagram.
Day 1 of the U.S. CoffeeChamps qualifying competition in New Orleans brought together hundreds of coffee professionals and competitors to participate in the competitions—Barista, Brewers Cup, Cup Tasters, and Roasters—that would qualify some of the best and brightest coffee pros for the national competitions in Seattle in April. Photo by Sarah Allen.
The scene backstage was familiar: Coffee professionals from all disciplines lent one another a hand as they prepared to take the various stages. Photo by Sarah Allen.
These events couldn’t be the huge successes they are without dedicated volunteers such as Selina Viguera, pictured. Photo by Sarah Allen.
A whole host of special exhibitions, from the Roasters Village to the Brew Masters area (pictured) made the entire event feel like a carnival, which appropriately reflected the carnival going on throughout the city of New Orleans over the weekend). Photo by Sarah Allen.
The final barista competitor of the two-day event, Andrea Allen of Onyx Coffee Lab in Arkansas, proved the top scorer and took first place, just as she did in 2017. Photo by Diana Mnatsakanyan-Sapp.
The awards ceremony for the Barista, Brewers Cup, Cup Tasters, and Roasters competitions attracted an enormous and lively crowd of onlookers and supporters. Photo by Diana Mnatsakanyan-Sapp.
The top two in the Cup Tasters competition: first-place winner James Gibbs of Caravela Coffee in Durham, N.C. (left), and Jason Burkum of Archetype Coffee in Omaha, Neb. Photo by Diana Mnatsakanyan-Sapp.
The top six in the Roasters contest, including first-place winner Bevan Cammell of Loyal Coffee in Colorado Springs, Colo. (third from right); second-place finisher Hugh Morretta of La Colombe in Havertown, Pa. (second from right); and third-place finisher Elliot Reinecke of Steady State Roasting in Cardiff, Calif. (far right). Photo by Diana Mnatsakanyan-Sapp.
The top 11 in the Brewers Cup competition, including third-place finisher Kaley Gann of Messenger Coffee in Kansas City, Mo. (seventh from right); second-place finisher Tyler Duncan of Topeka Coffee in Tulsa, Okla. (fifth from right); and winner Wade Preston of Prevail Coffee in Montgomery, Ala. (third from right). Photo by Diana Mnatsakanyan-Sapp.
The top three in the Barista Competition: winner Andrea Allen of Onyx Coffee Lab in Springdale, Ark. (left); third-place finisher Jared Holt of Black + White Coffee in Wake Forest, N.C. (center); and second-place finisher Isaiah Sheese of Archetype Coffee in Omaha, Neb. (right). Photo by Diana Mnatsakanyan-Sapp.
To see a complete list of the rankings for the New Orleans qualifying competitions for the U.S. CoffeeChamps in the Cup Tasters, Barista, Brewers Cup, and Roasters competitions, please visit
. Barista Magazine’s Instagram