Top photo by Nate Gwatney
Today’s preliminary round of the U.S. Barista Championship culminated with the announcement of six semifinalists to join the prequalified 12.
Here’s how it works: There were two USBC qualifying events held earlier this year: one in Knoxville, Tenn., and one in Austin, Tex. The top six baristas from each competition earned a pass directly into the USBC semifinal round, which takes place tomorrow, April 22, in Seattle at the Global Specialty Coffee Expo (schedule below).
After those top 12, the 24 highest ranking of baristas from both Knoxville and Austin competed today in the preliminary round for the final six spots in the semifinal round. So there will be 18 total semifinalists tomorrow, and they will be competing for just six spots in Sunday’s final round.
The six barista competitors who today won entry into the semifinal round are:
(in no particular order)
T. Ben Fisher, La Colombe, Philadelphia
Brandon Paul Weaver, Foreigner Coffee, Seattle
Matthew Gasaway, Intelligentsia Coffee, Chicago
Micah Sherer, Ally Coffee, Greenville, S.C.
Josh Taves, Novo Coffee, Denver
Drew Frohn, Ultimo Coffee, Philadelphia
USBC SEMIFINAL ROUND SCHEDULE
April 22, 2017
Qualified in preliminary round
Qualified in Austin
Qualified in Knoxville
9 a.m.: Isaiah Sheese, Archetype Coffee, Omaha, Neb.
9:19 a.m.: T. Ben Fisher, La Colombe, Philadelphia
9:38 a.m.: Shane Hess, Jubala Coffee, Raleigh, N.C.
9:57 a.m.: Lorenzo Perkins, Fleet Coffee, Austin, Tex.
10:16 a.m.: Micah Sherer, Ally Coffee, Greenville, S.C.
10:35 a.m.: Devin Chapman, Coffee Manufactory, San Francisco
11:05 a.m.: Drew Frohn, Ultimo Coffee, Philadelphia
11:24 a.m.: Bethany Hargrove, Wrecking Ball Coffee, San Francisco
11:43 a.m.: Samuel Lewontin, Everyman Espresso, New York City
12:02 p.m.: Ashley Rodriguez, The CRO Cafe, Oakland, Calif.
12:21 p.m.: Matthew Gasaway, Intelligentsia Coffee, Chicago
12:40 p.m.: Josh Taves, Novo Coffee, Denver
1:10 p.m.: Brandon Paul Weaver, Foreigner Coffee, Seattle
1:29 p.m.: Cole McBride, Prediction Coffee, Las Vegas
1:48 p.m.: Andrea Allen, Onyx Coffee Lab, Springdale, Ark.
2:07 p.m.: Talya Strader, Equator Coffees, San Francisco
2:26 p.m.: Kyle Ramage, Mahlkönig USA, Durham, N.C.
2:45 p.m.: Matthew Barahura, Intelligentsia Coffee, Los Angeles