Meet Southeast Regional Barista Champion Lem Butler!

As the proud Media Sponsor of the United States Barista Championship since 2005, Barista Magazine has always compiled and produced a beautiful printed program that serves as a guide, collectors item, introduction to the Regional Barista Champions and the Regional Brewers Cup Champions, all the party info for the SCAA show, and much more! 2013 is no different. This year’s Official United States Barista Championship.U.S. Brewers Cup Event Program is at the printer right now! But we thought we’d give you a sneak peek at some of the most popular content in the program, the Regional Barista Competition Champs and Regional Brewers Cup Champs profiles.

So without further ado ¦



See, there actually WAS a time in Lem's life when he wasn't competing! (Note: immediately after this photo was taken, Lem went on to win his first Southeast Regional at the age of 7)
See, there actually WAS a time in Lem’s life when he wasn’t competing! (Note: immediately after this photo was taken, Lem went on to win his first Southeast Regional at the age of 7)


How long have you been a barista?

Circa 2003


You’ve traveled to some coffee-producing regions, such as Jamaica ”what did you learn from the experience?

Every coffee producing country is different, but the same in that there is such a dedication to the craft of producing outstanding coffees.


You’ve been competing for years ”and excelling. Why are you back to compete again? What’s the thrill?

I am addicted to the rush, the people in the industry, and being able to serve some of the best palates in coffee. Ooohh, the thrill ¦ one would have to experience the thrill in order to understand the thrill.


How do you make coffee at home?

The Chemex is back in the line-up after breaking one two years ago.


You’re going to Kenya with Cafe Imports! What do you hope to learn while you’re there?

I am looking forward to the trip to Kenya.  I have always wanted to go to Africa since I was a youngster, but have not had the opportunity. With the origin trip, Café Imports is courageously shaping the coffee industry with a nurturing connection between the start of the supply chain (the producer) and the end of the supply chain (the barista). I feel origin trips are crucial for any coffee professional’s understanding of and advancement in the coffee industry. It is one of those œfull circle  moments. I am so stoked to visit some of the amazing relationships Café Imports has built over the years with their producing partners in Kenya. I want to learn about challenges of getting Kenyan coffees from Africa to the consumers here in the United States. After winning the SERBC with a Kenyan coffee, I want to hold that iron-rich red soil in my hands and have my œfull circle  moment!



About Sarah 932 Articles
Sarah Allen (she/her) is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.