The Crown in Oakland, Calif., gives competitors a chance to rehearse their routines in front of a live audience.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos provided by The Crown: Royal Coffee Lab & Tasting Room
The competition energy has been strong throughout this season of the U.S. Coffee Championships (USCC). The Crown: Royal Coffee Lab & Tasting Room wants to help competitors become well-oiled machines at their second annual Prep Rally next Saturday, February 8—just weeks before another round of qualifiers and championships in Orange County, Calif. Co-sponsored by us at Barista Magazine, the event gives USCC participants in all categories a chance to rehearse their routines in front of a live audience! Last year’s Prep Rally brought in a packed house, and this time around should be no different.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing all these champs in the same room before nationals, and to get everyone who attends extra practice,” says The Crown’s creative director Evan Gilman. “This is really an event to get everyone excited for nationals, and for CoffeeChamps competitors to network and learn from one another. This won’t be a high-stakes run-through for competitors, just a good time to get feedback and feel even more solid in their routines!”
Several competitors have already signed up to be a part of the festivities. Michelle Johnson of Red Bay Coffee and Saint Frank’s Jason Yeo have secured spots within the Barista category, while Ryan Sullivan (Mostra Coffee) and Taylor Sullivan (Philz) are presenting for Cup Tasters. Other attendees are also confirmed for Roasters and Coffee In Good Spirits, but registration is still open. Several entries are available for all categories, which you can sign up for here.
In addition to the competition, a raffle will benefit Educate 2 Envision, a nonprofit that creates community-run secondary schools in rural Honduras. If you’d like to attend as a general admission audience member, you also have the option to donate to Grounds for Health, a nonprofit that provides cervical cancer screenings to women in coffee-growing countries.
Registration for this event for competitors closes on February 5. You can attend as an audience member for free by registering here.