Dozens of coffee professionals competed at qualifiers this weekend in Colorado for coveted spots at the U.S. Coffee Championships next month.
BY J. MARIE CARLAN
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Cover photo by J. Marie Carlan
For competitive coffee professionals in the USA, the U.S. Coffee Championships are the place to be. Over the weekend, the second USCC Qualifier of the competition season took place at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Englewood, Colo. Competitors raced against the clock and each other to grab qualifying spots. Those who qualified will have the privilege of moving on to the USCC national events in April in Portland, Ore. at the Specialty Coffee Expo.
Here are the competitors who came out on top in each contest; you can view a full list of competitors moving on to nationals here.
U.S. Roaster Top-Ranking Qualifiers
- Kiara Freysinger of Huckleberry Roasters in Denver
- Kimhak Em of Paircupworks in Mesa, Ariz.
- Steve Cuevas of Black Oak Roasters in Ukiah, Calif.
U.S. Cup Tasters Top-Ranking Qualifiers
- Thomas Chandler of Black Oak Coffee in Ukiah, Calif.
- Sebastián Legner of Coda Coffee in Denver
- Mehmet Sogan of Memli Coffee in San Diego
U.S. Latte Art Top-Ranking Qualifiers
- Wenbo Yang of Artly Coffee
- Truc Ngo of IOCoffea
- Piyapat ”Flook” Lapteerawaut of Coffee Project NY, New York, New York
US Barista Top-Ranking Qualifiers
- Seidy Selivanow of Kafiex Roasters in Vancouver, Wash.
- Isaiah Sheese of Archetype Coffee in Omaha, Neb.
- Anthony Ragler of Black & White Coffee in Zebulon, N.C.
US Brewers Cup Top-Ranking Qualifiers
- Korachai Silpavitanku of Amberson Coffee in Indianapolis
- Danesha Toro of Greater Goods Roasting in Austin, Texas
- Jesus Iniquez of Archetype Coffee in Omaha, Neb.
U.S. Coffee In Good Spirits Top-Ranking Qualifiers
- Garrett VanWambeke, Independent, of Atlanta
- Natasha Solowoniuk of Caffe Vita in Seattle
- Edwin Gorritz of Barista Squared in Orlando, Fla.
Every competitor brought their A-game, but only some will go on to the U.S. Coffee Championships in Portland, Ore; the championships are a big part of the Specialty Coffee Expo, which will take place April 21-23.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J. Marie Carlan (she/they) is the online editor for Barista Magazine. She’s been a barista for over a decade and writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. When she’s not behind the espresso bar or toiling over content, you can find her perusing record stores, collecting bric-a-brac, writing poetry, and trying to keep the plants alive in her Denver apartment. She occasionally updates her blog.