One lucky barista will win a trip to Portland in September to work with Pete Licata at the Compak Golden Bean event
BY CHRIS RYAN
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE
Ever wanted to work alongside one of the world’s top baristas brewing coffee to be judged in one of the industry’s most popular roasting competitions?
That’s just the opportunity being offered in a new contest in conjunction with the 2016 Compak Golden Bean North America, the second-annual event that bills itself as œthe world’s largest coffee roasting competition. In the Golden Bean, roasters from around the country submit samples and vie for awards in several categories. The event takes place in Portland this September.
At stake is the opportunity to work in the Golden Bean’s œengine room, where a team of baristas make drinks to be served to a panel of judges. These baristas play an integral role in the event, as they’re charged with making filter and espresso beverages that maintain the integrity of the competing coffees.
Leading the Engine Room is Pete Licata, 2013 World Barista Champion and creator of coffee-evaluation site Roast Ratings. The winning barista in this contest will gain the chance to work alongside Pete in a high-profile professional setting. œThe Engine Room is a bit of a marvel of coordination and communication, says Pete. œThe winner can look forward to seeing how the Engine Room team works, the depths of judging calibration, espresso dial-in, and the sheer number of coffees at the event. It is a little crazy, impressive to behold, and satisfyingly exhausting at the end of the day.
To enter the competition, baristas must write an essay of 500 words or less about their passion for coffee and their reasons for aspiring to be a world-class barista. The winning barista will receive not just a job in the Engine Room during the event, but also airfare, accommodation and entry to the Compak Golden Bean, an event T-shirt, and a limited-edition tamper from Reg Barber Enterprises.
The Golden Bean originated in Australia: Founder Sean Edwards started the competition more than 10 years ago in conjunction with his coffee magazine, Café Culture. He brought it stateside to Portland in September 2015, with key sponsorship from international coffee-grinder manufacturer Compak. Roasters around the country were honored, with Southern California’s Klatch Coffee receiving the top prize of Overall Champion Roaster.
In the first Compak Golden Bean North America, 150 roasters around the country submitted 400 entries. Sean says this year’s event will be bigger and better. œWe have had amazing feedback and know this year will be double the size in participants and entries, he says. œWe had a big challenge coming from a small populated country like Australia and convincing a big market to get involved. I think we achieved this, and all we have to do now is maintain our credibility and the transparency of the competition.
Interested baristas can send their essays directly to Sean at firstname.lastname@example.org. All entries must be received by August 31.
Chris Ryan is Content Director of Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers, where he develops and produces a broad range of materials covering the entire supply chain. He also plays a chief role in assembling the program for the Let’s Talk Coffee event series. Chris graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.A. in Journalism. Before joining Sustainable Harvest ®, he spent four and a half years as Editor of Fresh Cup Magazine, a trade publication covering the specialty coffee and tea industries. Outside the office he enjoys bike riding, reading, and watching baseball.