Scenes and Results from the Most Recent U.S. CoffeeChamps Preliminaries

The results are in for the September U.S. Coffee Championships preliminary events in Richmond, Va.; Portland, Ore.; Austin, Texas; and Houston.


Featured photo by Steven Cromer

In September, the United States Coffee Championships’ 2019-2020 competition season continued with four preliminary competitions held in Richmond, Va.; Portland, Ore.; Austin, Texas; and Houston.

The preliminary events take place for the five U.S. CoffeeChamps competitions: Barista, Brewers Cup, Coffee In Good Spirits, Cup Tasters, and Roasters. There are 13 prelims in total; with the September prelims complete, there are two preliminary events remaining: October 4-6 in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and October 11-13 in Rogers, Ark.

Coffee competitors advancing from the preliminaries will move on to the U.S. Coffee Champs Qualifying Events taking place December 7-8 in Sumner, Wash.; January 11-12 in Nashville, Tenn.; and February 22-23 in Orange County, Calif. For more details, check out the U.S. CoffeeChamps website.

Read on to see what happened at the September preliminary events, and who is moving on to qualifiers.

Richmond, Va.

On September 6-8, Blanchard’s Coffee Roasting Co. hosted the Richmond preliminary event, which featured the Barista, Brewers Cup, and Coffee In Good Spirits competitions. Here are the competitors moving on:


1. Kylan Reasoner—Union Coffee, Greensboro, N.C.
2. Ryan Moser—Brick & Mortar, Richmond, Va.
3. Joe Burns—Convive Coffee Company, Pittsburgh
4. Filiberto Hernandez—Union Coffee, Greensboro, N.C.

Brewers Cup

Ben Martin, first-place finisher in the Brewers Cup competition at the Richmond preliminary, performing his routine. Photo by Cameron Lewis of Blanchard’s Coffee Roasting Co.

1. Ben Martin— Madcap Coffee Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.
2. Chelsea Dubay—Joe Van Gogh, Chapel Hill, N.C.
3. Grant Wunderlich—Madcap Coffee Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.
4. Aaron Moxley—Independent, Winston-Salem, N.C.

Coffee In Good Spirits

1. Mo Koolphanich—Slipstream, Washington, D.C.
2. Dawn Shanks—Peregrine Espresso, Washington, D.C.
3. Matthew Kumar—Independent, New York, N.Y.

Portland, Ore.

The top three finishers in the Roasters competition at the Portland preliminary. From left: Brian Clemens, Shasha Yang, and Andrew Coe. Photo by Novus Coffee Imports.

Hosted by Novus Coffee Imports x Buckman Coffee Factory on September 7, the Portland preliminary featured the Roasters and Cup Tasters competitions. Here are the competitors moving on:


1. Brian Clemens—Relevant Coffee, Vancouver, Wash.
2. Shasha Yang—Nossa Familia Coffee, Portland, Ore.
3. Andrew Coe—Elevator Coffee, Portland, Ore.

Cup Tasters

1. Shasha Yang—Nossa Familia Coffee, Portland, Ore.
2. Ken Selby—Blossom Coffee Roasters, Seattle
3. Brian Clemens—Relevant Coffee, Vancouver, Wash.

The top three Cup Tasters finishers from the Portland preliminary. From left: Brian Clemens, Ken Selby, and Shasha Yang. Photo by Elisabeth Johnson.

Austin, Texas

On September 27-29, the Austin Coffee Collective hosted the Austin preliminary event, featuring the Barista and Brewers Cup competitions. Read on to see the competitors moving on.

The six advancing competitors from the Barista competition at the Austin preliminary event. From left: Raechel Hurd, Sam Schaefer, Heather McCullough, Miranda Haney, Ali Abderrahman, and Holly Griffith. Photo by Nathanael May.


1. Raechel Hurd
2. Sam Schaefer
3. Heather McCullough
4. Holly Griffith
5. Ali Abderrahman
6. Miranda Haney

Brewers Cup

1. Welhong Zhang
2. Sarah Lambeth
3. Michael Replan
4. Solomon Gerges


The top three finishers from the Cup Tasters preliminary in Houston. From left: Benji Martinez, Mehmet Sogan, and Adrianne Pena. Photo by Steven Cromer.

The Houston preliminary, hosted by Houston Coffee Collective x InterAmerican Coffee, took place September 28 and featured the Cup Tasters competition. Here are the competitors moving on:

Cup Tasters

1. Adrianne Pena—InterAmerican Coffee, Houston
2. Mehmet Sogan—Independent, Houston
3. Benji Martinez—Xela Coffee Roasters, Houston

About Chris Ryan 261 Articles
Chris Ryan (he/him) is Barista Magazine's online copy editor and a freelance writer and editor with a background in the specialty coffee industry. He has been content director of Sustainable Harvest and the editor of Fresh Cup Magazine.