Making its Southeast debut in Greenville, S.C., Thursday night, The Barista League USA Tour continues to dazzle!
FROM STAFF REPORTS
After delighting the coffee communities in the Northwest (Portland, Ore., on August 30) and Midwest (Kansas City, Mo., on September 1), The Barista League USA was primed to sparkle in Greenville, S.C., where it put out a third amazing tour date on the Scandinavian team barista competition’s four-city U.S. tour.
The event, which drew attendees from more than 10 states, was hosted at coffee importer Ally Coffee’s gorgeous new facility, which includes a long, natural wood espresso bar. Twelve teams consisting of two baristas each descended on the bar behind the Victoria Arduino Black Eagle and the Dalla Corte dc Pro for the first of three rounds: Barista Skills, wherein they were required to prepare espressos and cappuccinos with Onyx Coffee Lab (official coffee sponsor) and Pacific Barista Series (official plant-based beverage sponsor) for three judges: 2017 United States Barista Champ Kyle Ramage; Ally Coffee’s Anderson Stockdale; and Onyx’s Bear Soliven.
Round Two has been an obsessive challenge for American teams along The Barista League USA Tour: The title is Sensory Skills, and it presents teams with a variety of liquid samples of taste profiles represented on the Specialty Coffee Association flavor wheel. The catch is that Barista League founder and creative mastermind Steve Moloney has colored the liquids vividly with food coloring: makes it a lot harder to identify citrus when it’s in the form of blue liquid, amiright?!
The final stage was a Mystery Round revealed at the start of competition: This challenge brought brewer sponsor Poursteady front and center. The totally amazing Poursteady is a brew bar robot, which is programmed by the barista per various coffee parameters, after which it flows water onto coffee grounds with epic perfection. Barista teams were challenge to program the Poursteady to best brew the lovely Onyx Coffees on offer.
In the end, it was Team A Skulk of Paper Foxes from all the way down in Tallahassee, Fla., who won last night’s Barista League USA Tour stop. Besides bragging rights and a whole mess of fabulous prizes from the generous sponsors of the tour, the women win a chance at the grandest of grand prizes: an all-expenses-paid trip to Colombia on the Ally Coffee Champs Trip in early October!
We’ve got one last stop ahead, and it’s tomorrow night at Ultimo Coffee in Philadelphia! At the close of the competition, Steve will announce which team among each city’s winning teams had the highest overall score and therefore wins that killer trip to Colombia, so stay tuned!