Scholarship recipients from the Oregon coffee industry will get their entry fee and travel expenses covered, as well as mentorship opportunities and more.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
If you’re an Oregon coffee enthusiast with an urge to compete in coffee competitions, here’s another opportunity to do so—all expenses paid!
This competition season, the Portland-based Oregon Coffee Board is hosting several potential qualifiers in all categories of the U.S. Coffee Championships through a new scholarship program; This includes the Cup Tasters, Roasters, Coffee In Good Spirits, Barista, and Brewers Cup competitions.
Winners of the scholarships will have their entry fee covered, along with travel expenses and a food and beverage stipend. There will also be mentorship opportunities, with mentors coming from a variety of community relationships and business partners. For example, OCB board member and former roasting competitor Emily Smith will work with the Roasters scholar competitor during their preparation.
“The Oregon Coffee Board exists to further the development, community, and excellence of Oregon coffee,” explains Maggie Davis, a member of the OCB board of directors. “We want to extend this mission, and become a resource for new and seasoned competitors. In providing a scholarship opportunity we strive to lower the barrier to entry, to see more diverse contestants in coffee competitions, and inspire the next generation of great competitors.”
In order to qualify for the scholarship, recipients must either work for a company that is a member of the Oregon Coffee Board or be an active member of the OCB. Depending on which category an applicant is considering, they must also participate in a live competition (Barista and Brewers Cup) or submit answers to a short essay question (Roasters, CIGS, Cup Tasters). All scholarship recipients will be announced at the live competition on Saturday, October 19, at the Buckman Coffee Factory.
If anyone is stuck on answering some of the essay questions, Maggie advises, “Focus on why you are doing what you do, what drives you to compete, and how you want to apply your experience to further the Oregon coffee community. Be yourself and be honest. Even if you’ve never competed before, apply!”
In order to be a part of the live competition, you must sign up by September 15 via Eventbrite. Links will be available on the Oregon Coffee Board’s website soon.