Scenes from the USCC Preliminaries—Washington, D.C.

Three preliminary events took place Sept. 22-24, and we’re covering each one with pictures, highlights, and results. Last but not least: Washington, D.C.!


This past weekend, three preliminary events of the United States Coffee Championships (USCC) took place leading up to the Qualifying Competitions and the USCC national competition happening in April 2018. On Tuesday we covered the Denver event, on Wednesday we brought you results from Greenville, S.C., and today we have coverage of the competition hosted in Washington, D.C., by Coffee District.

We covered the previous three preliminary events in Rancho CucamongaSeattle, and Portland, Ore., in August and September, and will provide coverage of the last two preliminaries happening this weekend in Louisville, Ky., and Tulsa, Okla. Washington, D.C. was one of the most exciting competitions yet, bringing together far more female competitors than the other events, and crowning Jenna Gotthelf—one of last year’s regional Brewers Cup champions—the winner of the barista competition. In a competition season that’s seen a lot of men take top honors, seeing a majority-female top eight was both encouraging and a somber reminder that there’s still work to do. Here are some of the highlights; a full list of those baristas moving on to the next round is provided at the end.

Competitors at the D.C. event were from all across the East Coast, from New York to Florida. Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman.


Coffee District also recently hosted one of the regional events for the U.S. AeroPress Competition. Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman.


Bailey Arnold of Gregorys Coffee in New York serving the judges. Photo courtesy of Bailey Arnold.


Set-ups were simple and the vibe low-key, with spectators looking on and competitors using simple table settings to present their coffees. Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman.


The top eight from the barista competition. From left: Lucas Bermejo, Daps Salisbury, Diane Contreras, Dawn Shanks, Jenna Gotthelf, Amy Trompeter, Bailey Arnold, and Mike Marquard. Photo courtesy of Nathanael May.


D.C. was one of the biggest regionals, hosting 28 barista competitors and 18 brewers.


The competitions took place as part of D.C. Coffee Fest, which also included a local roaster showcase, workshops, and social events. Photo courtesy of Bailey Arnold.


Brewers Cup winners. From left: Cody McGregor, Jacob Cordie, Matt Leberman, and Omar Hossain.


1. Jenna Gotthelf, Everyman Espresso
2. Dawn Shanks, Peregrine Espresso
3. Amy Trompeter, Ultimo Coffee
4. Bailey Arnold, Gregorys Coffee
5. Diane Contreras, Vigilante Coffee Company
6. Mike Marquard, Blueprint Coffee
7. Lucas Bermejo, Independent
8. Daps Salisbury, Blue Bottle Coffee


1. Cody McGregor, Ultimo Coffee
2. Omar Hossain, Brownsville Roasters
3. Jacob Cordie, Menagerie Coffee
4. Matt Leberman, 3 Bean Coffee

About Ashley Rodriguez 413 Articles
Ashley is the Online Editor for Barista Magazine. She's based in Chicago. If you want to share a story or have a comment, you can reach her at