Show Off Your Skills at This Cold Brew Competition in Memphis

You don’t have to be a trained barista to compete in this contest—City & State in Memphis invites everyone to throw down in its new cold brew competition!


Coffee competitions are usually designed for those who work professionally in coffee—those who pour beautiful swans and tulips during latte art throwdowns, or those who are poised and can pull shots of espresso while talking to judges. City & State in Memphis, Tenn., however, is hosting a coffee competition that anyone can enter. On July 7, entrants from all over the coffee spectrum—from professional baristas to home enthusiasts—will battle it out over who can make the ultimate cold brew.

City & State will host a cold brew competition open to all coffee enthusiasts!

The rules of the competition are simple: Entrants will have 30 minutes to set up a mock service and hand out samples of their cold brew and a signature drink to about 80 attendees, including a panel of judges. Competitors will also give a short presentation to the judges explaining why they chose their coffee, the flavor notes the judges should expect, and the brew method chosen to make the cold brew. The judges will choose the first-, second-, and third-place finishers, and the audience will vote for a People’s Choice winner.

“After experiencing the Cold Brew throwdown at last year’s SCA in Atlanta, hosted by Chrome Yellow Trading Co., we’ve had a desire to continue the trend and bring it to Memphis for a regional event that will serve to give even more visibility to the incredible network of roasters and cafes in this area,” shares Lisa Toro of City & State. Sponsors of the event include Intelligentsia Coffee, Barista Parlor, French Truck, Espresso Parts, Dr. Bean, and Barista Magazine.

The event is meant to draw as many people as possible and include the larger Memphis coffee community. “We are focused on making this a fun event that celebrates the coffee community and raises awareness. As such, we’re going to do our best to keep costs down and provide as much back to the competitors as possible,” Lisa shares. The competition costs only $15 to enter, which includes a pre-competition party the day before for competitors to mingle and meet one another. Competition slots are first-come, first-serve, but even if you don’t get a slot, there will still be plenty to eat, drink, and taste. “We’re excited to make this a completely inclusive event, with partners, sponsors, and competitors from all over the region,” Lisa says. “There will be food trucks, music, beer, and fun!”

Registration for the event is currently open here. The competition will take place on July 7, so stay tuned for continued coverage!

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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