As one of the very strongest independent guilds/clubs our specialty coffee industry can boast, the Inland Empire TNT group throw another one of their now-famous events last Thursday at Dripp Coffee Bar in China Hills, Calif. Photographer Andrew Oliveros, who is kind enough to share these great photos here on Barista Magazine’s blog, reports that the event drew around 100 people, with 32 baristas signed up to compete ”that’s the full roster, completed in the first 20 minutes after sign ups opened.
“We had a strong showing of baristas from the inland empire, and from the Orange County area,” Andrew tells us. “This being our fifth event so far, the logistics went very smoothly. We even introduced an audience photo contest through Instagram to coincide with some new stickers we had to give away.
“Easily, the most exciting aspect was the energy. Everyone there was excited to be there. There’s a strong sense of community that’s very palpable. The baristas are all eager to compete against, and see the work of, their peers. Even after the competition concluded, time permitting, some of the baristas were eager to do a few impromptu pours to share with each other for feedback.”
Thanks for sharing these details and your gorgeous photos, Andrew!