TGI-MoFo-ing Friday

Of course today is the first really sunny lovely day we’ve had in Portland and I have a ton of work to do. I’m scrambling to finish my to-do list before my best bud Kyle Larson arrives in town from Seattle to spend the weekend. But I can’t really complain about my work too much — I’m deep into one of my favorite projects of the year: creating the United States Barista Championship event program! Here are the ones we’ve done over the years.


Barista Magazine has been creating the official USBC program since 2005. That was the year we launched Barista Magazine, and we suggested the idea of a program to the United States Barista Championship Committee as a way to make the USBC more professional and give it the respect and recognition it deserved. Boy, does 2005 seem like a long time ago… That was back when this lovely was the champ:


(Sidenote: Do you like that photo of Phuong? Ken took it during his shoot with her at Lava Java for the article in the new issue of Barista Magazine, 10 Incredible Women in Coffee. Check it out on iMag and/or order your copy today!)

So anyway, we’re having fun, as usual, putting together this year’s USBC program. It’s extra fun because we’ve hired Barista Magazine’s original art director, the talented Amanda Wilson, to design it!


We work with Amanda every now and then when she has a moment free (which isn’t often, considering she’s a hot-stuff grad student at the University of Missouri. Check out her work here.). A lot of you remember Amanda, I’m sure, from her time in the specialty coffee industry. She’s still into it — she attended the Midwest Regional earlier this year and took some great photos! Anyway, a big shout out to Amanda, who should be congratulated for recently winning a prestigious internship at Outside Magazine! OK, now back to work on the program, Amanda. Ha ha.

When I’m not laughing about the hilarious interview answers I’m collecting for the program from the likes of Jon Lewis (Mountain), Billy Wilson (Northwest), Mike Phillips (Great Lakes), Lem Butler (Southeast), Belle Battista (Mid-Atlantic), Chris Baca (Western), Jason Calhoon (Southwest), Patrick Adam Pierce (South Central), and Pete Licata (Midwest), I’m clicking over to Liz Clayton’s blog to check on the progress of the Northeast Regional Barista Competition — the last of 10 regionals this year — which kicked off in Ithaca, N.Y., today! Check it out frequently cause Liz is live-bloggin for the whole event.

Thanks, Liz!

OK, so now it’s back to work for me. One last note: so when I was getting the link for Outside Magazine to put with my blurb about Amanda, I saw a really cool article called “Secrets of Great Air Travel” and got distracted by the photos of first-class seats and ended up reading the whole thing.


It’s really informative — I highly recommend it for you, my coffee friends who travel so much.

Back to USBC program! Happy Friday, everyone!