One of the most exciting barista events ever to hit the States, The Barista League U.S.A. Tour raged on in Philly as the fourth and final event unfolded Saturday.
FROM STAFF REPORTS
More than a year in the making, The Barista League USA Tour concluded with a killer event in Philadelphia on Saturday night at Ultimo Coffee. The four-city tour, which crossed the United States from Portland, Ore., to Kansas City, Mo., to Greenville, S.C., and finally, Philly, was the first time the beloved Scandinavian event—part party, part fun coffee competition—had crossed the Atlantic, and it was a resounding, incredible success.
Created by Steve Moloney two years ago, The Barista League was designed to be the polar opposite of the traditional, formal, stressful barista competition. Mind you, he’s not a hater—he himself has been the Swedish Barista Champion not just once but twice, and he sees the value in the World Barista Championship and national barista competitions. However, he created The Barista League to offer coffee professionals a way to include folks who might not otherwise compete by creating an inclusive, community-based, and fun-driven event that would neither intimidate nor alienate anyone. And it’s free to participate.
Obviously the format was popular with North American baristas, given the fact that the 12 team spots in each of the four cities filled up almost immediately after registration opened. Our zany and lovable coffee community truly showed up for The Barista League in the United States, with creative team names, inventive costumes, and enthusiasm in spades. To see photos from each city stop, check out @thebaristaleague on Instagram, as well as @baristamagazine. And be sure to seek out #thebaristaleague posts from hundreds of baristas around the country.
The Barista League in Philly took place at Ultimo Coffee’s new and fairly raw space, which made a fantastic backdrop for the event that drew more than 100 baristas from across the Eastern Seaboard. Here are some photos from the competition and party. Be sure to check out our recaps of the Portland, Kansas City, and Greenville stops, too.