Updates From the Final U.S. CoffeeChamps Preliminaries

Check out who is advancing from the final October U.S. CoffeeChamps preliminary events in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and Rogers, Ark.


Cover photo courtesy of Klatch Roasting

The preliminary competition season for the 2019-2020 United States Coffee Championships has been a whirlwind of five different events (Barista, Brewers Cup, Coffee In Good Spirits, Cup Tasters, and Roaster) in cities across the United States, from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Richmond, Va., to Seattle.

There were 13 preliminary events in total, and we’ve been re-capping the winners on Barista Magazine Online. To check out the winners from the first three events, you can read the results here. The winners from the following four competitions can be found here, and the finalists from Richmond, Portland, Ore., Austin, Texas, and Houston are here.

The U.S. CoffeeChamps wrapped up their final series of preliminary events in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., from October 4-6 at Klatch Coffee Roasting, and at Onyx Coffee Lab in Rogers, Ark., on October 11-13.

Coffee competitors advancing from the preliminaries will make their way to the U.S. Coffee Champs Qualifying Events 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.

Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Rancho hosted preliminaries in all five categories of the championships at Klatch, awarding several finalists in each one.

Winners of the Cup Tasters at the Rancho Cucamonga preliminary, from left to right: Luke Jung, Joel Lohner, Taylor Sullivan, and Max Martinelli. Photo courtesy of Klatch Roasting.


1. Kay Cheon—Dune Coffee, Santa Barbara, Calif.
2. Tae-Wan Kim—Copa Vida, Pasadena, Calif.
3. Rodrigo Vargas, Elixr Coffee Roasters, Philadelphia
4. Nathan Ngo—Dune Coffee, Santa Barbara, Calif.
5. Austin Amento—Augie’s Coffee, Redlands, Calif.
6. Kristi Persinger—Stumptown Coffee, Los Angeles

Brewers Cup:
1. Kathie Hilberg—Stumptown Coffee, Los Angeles
2. Jeremy Ecklund—Dune Coffee, Santa Barbara, Calif.
3. Monica Sandoval—Augie’s Coffee, Redlands, Calif.
4. Michael Replan—Independent

Coffee In Good Spirits:
1. Daniel Shorl—Augie’s Coffee, Redlands, Calif.
2. Jen McElroy—Klatch Coffee, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
3. Robby Hainley—Klatch Coffee, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Cup Tasters:
1. Max Martinelli—Ascendo Coffee, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
2. Taylor Sullivan—Philz Coffee, Los Angeles
3. Luke Jung—Ghost Roasters, Los Angeles
4. Joel Lohner—Theory Collaborative, Redding, Calif.

1. Evan Inatome—Elixr Coffee Roasters, Philadelphia
2. Brian Gomez—The Roasted Bean, San Dimas, Calif.
3. Alex Huang—Aroma Craft Coffee, Walnut, Calif.

Attendees at Klatch Roasting’s prelims got to check out the operations at the warehouse. Photo courtesy of Klatch Roasting.

Rogers, Ark.

Competitors traveled to Onyx Coffee Lab in Rogers to participate in four CoffeeChamps categories: Barista, Brewers Cup, Cup Tasters, and Coffee In Good Spirits.

The Barista winners, from right to left: Isaiah Sheese, Juan Diaz, Hugo Cano, Topher Ou, Gisel Alvarez, and Adam Elabd. Photo courtesy of Onyx Coffee Lab.

1. Isaiah Sheese—Archetype Coffee, Omaha, Neb.
2. Juan Diaz— Santo Coffee, Seattle
3. Hugo Cano—Independent, Indianapolis
4. Topher Ou—Little Collins, New York
5. Gisel Alvarez—Monarch Coffee, Kansas City, Mo.
6. Adam Elabd—Huckleberry Coffee Roasters, Denver

Brewers Cup:
1. Tyler Duncan—Topeca Coffee, Tulsa, Okla.
2. Paul Menefee—Archetype Coffee, Omaha Neb.
3. Jerry Ponzer—Messenger Coffee, Kansas City, Mo.
4. Avery Leith—Huckleberry Coffee Roasters, Denver

Brewers Cup finalists from left to right: Avery Leith, Jerry Ponzer, Paul Menefee, and Tyler Duncan. Photo courtesy of Onyx Coffee Lab.

Cup Tasters: 
1. Pryce Fischer—Prelude Coffee Roasters, Oklahoma City, Okla.
2. Helen Choi—Luce Ave Coffee Roasters, Houston
3. Jason Burkham—Archetype Coffee, Omaha, Neb.

Coffee In Good Spirits:
1. Cyrenthia Ngueya—Onyx Coffee Lab, Rogers, Ark.
2. Kelsey Maccombs—Glitter Cat, Philadelphia
3. Eric Perez—Independent
4. John Williams—Archetype Coffee, Omaha, Neb.
5. Mitchell Griffith—Puritan Coffee & Beer, Fayetteville, Ark.

About Katrina Yentch 221 Articles
Katrina Yentch (she/her) is a freelance writer and Barista Magazine's Online Editor. When she's not writing, you can find her napping, cooking, and drinking whatever's on drip.