Best Guy of CF Seattle Award Goes to Hiroshi Sawada

We’re just back from another fun-filled Coffee Fest Seattle and Millrock Latte Art Championship, presented by Barista Mag, Nuova Simonelli and Dillanos Coffee. What a weekend! We had such a blast hangin with friends from New York, California, Washington, California, and of course Japan! Hiroshi Sawada, who owns Caffe Milk Art in Japan and who has competed in eight Millrock Latte Art Championships took top honors at this weekend’s mega challenging competition. David of Coffee Fest said 96 people applied for the 40 spots in this weekend’s intense contest, and Hiroshi won the whole darn thing!


What’s even more special than that, however, is that Hiroshi tracked me down on the show floor after his win to ask if I wouldn’t mind mailing his prize money ”$5000 ”to Coffee Kids! Hiroshi is as humble, unassuming and generous of spirit as they come, so his gesture wasn’t surprising, just amazing and wonderful. I snapped this picture of him holding the check in one hand and the Coffee Kids donation envelope in the other.


Hiroshi, you’re the greatest! Ken and I called Kyle from Coffee Kids with the good news and sent the check off registered mail this morning. Look for an article about it in both Barista Magazine and the Coffee Kids newsletter.


The rest of the weekend was a blast. The show floor was full, but not packed as it has been in recent years, an obvious result of the failing economy. Still, good business was done between those folks who could resist the amazingly gorgeous Seattle weather outside the convention center. Here are some shots from the weekend…


From left to right, Neil, Anne, Danger Dan, and Jordan pose with their new Barista Mag tote bags. Note Ken’s enthusiastic thumbs up in the background. Keep up with these Brooklynites’ new project, TempTamp!! It’s one of the absolute coolest new things happening in specialty coffee these days, I think.


Team Mexico in the house! I was already starting to miss these guys since my trip to the Mexican Barista Championship last week, and then they showed up in Seattle ”score! I sent Chava (center, and 2x Mexico Barista Champion, 2006, 2007) home with an extra Barista Mag shirt for his girlfriend and the newest Mexico Barista Champion, Aleli!)


Watching the latte art championship… I see Baca, Fuller, Silas, and Brent


The Millrock Latte Ar Championship is opeen to anyone in the world, and for the first time in Seattle this past weekend, we had a competitor from Russia… and she made the finals! Way to go, Polina!


Here’s Hiroshi getting interviewed by a guy from ESPN. Get used to the paparazzi, Hiroshi!


Of course, there was some bad news from the weekend… the Washington Huskies lost big to Oklahoma… Ken=Pissed. And I dyed my hair purple for luck and everything! Ah, well… let’s just say that if Hiroshi won the Best Guy Award, Tyrone Willingham (Huskies coach) should be getting the WORST Guy Award…
Happy Coffee Fest, everyone, and Hiroshi, congratulations one more time…

About Sarah 934 Articles
Sarah Allen (she/her) is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Great post! Looks like it was a blast, and what a moving gesture, donating the prize money to Coffee Kids. Best guy indeed!

    (And sorry about the game, Ken, says the OU-fan-by-marriage…)

  2. Thanks so much, Hiroshi! And congratulations on your win. Sounds like it was amazing and we’ll be looking for the ESPN interview.

    Take care,
    The Gang at Coffee Kids

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