Katie Carguilo Rocks our World

Thank you to the many thousands of coffee friends who joined us in our very own Portland, Oregon, for the annual Specialty Coffee Association of America Conference and Expo this past week. We loved having you here!

We want to send a super jumbo sized congratulations out to this adorable lady, Ms. Katie Carguilo, the 2012 United States Barista Champion. As sweet-as-pie as Katie looks here in this photo, make no mistake: she is a fierce competitor. She’s competed at the USBC four times now, and she’s been a Regional champ twice. She knows what she’s doing, and she does it well. The United States coffee community has high hopes for how Katie will perform under pressure in Vienna, Austria, in June at the World Barista Championship.

Katie is a trainer for Counter Culture Coffee in New York City.

Katie was cool as the proverbial cucumber during her semifinal and final round of the USBC in Portland this weekend.

Pretty intimidating scene, huh? Not for Ms. Carguilo though.

In her performance, Katie focused on Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. She wanted to shine a spotlight on the fact that washing stations were only introduced in Ethiopia in 1959, as a way of pointing out how deeply the fermentation process effects the flavors of coffee.

At the WBC, however, Katie will be switching to a different coffee, some from her friend and the coffee producer who has championed the efforts of baristas more than any of her peers over the years, Ms. Aida Batlle of El Salvador. Katie visited Aida in the Santa Ana growing region where she runs her four family farms, as well as sources top coffees for her company, Aida Batlle Selection, to see the fermentation process in person as part of her preparation for the USBC. Obviously, the trip paid off.

Coffee producer Aida Batlle earned her barista certification as a way to get to know the baristas who told the story of her coffees to their customers everyday. Aida, pictured, worked at Stumptown Coffee's pop-up bar during the SCAA show in Portland.
At the US Barista Championship Awards Ceremony, Katie chats with former USBC Champs Pete Licata and Heather Perry.

But Katie can’t celebrate for long ”she’s got only a little more than a month to prepare for the biggest stage she’s stepped onto: The World Barista Championship stage. Katie will compete along with barista champions from 50+ countries at the World Barista Championship in June. If you can’t be in Vienna to personally cheer Katie on, you can watch all the action online at the WBC’s official website.

For now though, a toast to you, Katie. You rocked this city, and your whole coffee family is proud of you.

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