The Pilot's Blog

Sights and Sounds of SCAA 2014 Days 2 & 3

Bean Hunter Jon Ferguson and Professor Bean Simeon Bricker have spent the last few days in Seattle, WA representing Team Roasterie at the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Annual Exposition. They’ve been keeping us up-to-date on what they’ve been up to! Read about Day 1 here.

DAY 2

Hello From Seattle,

Last night we finished the evening at the After Party of the opening celebration. It was held at Van Trapps, their menu is sausages and other German Fare. Something unique about the joint was the bocce ball courts in the center of the room. This offered an activity for some and a spectacle for others.

This morning started early for Jon and I as he left to run in the Java Jog 5K, and I had a 730am practice time. Early mornings aren’t to bad here as it’s actually like waking up at 8m when we get up at 6am. I felt good after my practice and took time to grab some breakfast. 10:30 brought around my first performance on the Art Bar, a preliminary round to the stage performance. The art bar is a time for the latte artists to express themselves freely and inspire other baristas. After 30 minutes on the art bar I had made 9 pours and had about as many people standing by snapping shots on their phones and cameras. It was a highlight of my day just to have some time to relax and create.

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My art bar submission. The Ballerina…

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A tulip poured on the art bar.

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One more from the art bar…

To soon after the art bar it was time to get on stage for my 6 minute presentation of my designer latte and my free pour lattes. 6 minutes is not very long. Especially to make four drinks with detailed latte art. I quickly found myself running out of time and my last pour had me nervous of not finishing in time. I made the last pour and put the drink on the plate, thanked the judges and called time. I didn’t have time to pull out my big joke. As I type this I’m waiting backstage to here the announcement of tomorrows finalists. I’m really hoping I’m one of them.

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Greeting Judges. They always seem so happy to be there…

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Pulling shots.

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I actually smiled a lot on stage. I may have been a little worried about going over on my time at this point.

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After enduring all that I have to go talk to a complete stranger. He knew Normy though! (Not the first person I’ve met to either)

After his run, Jon took a shower (I hope) and then underwent four long hours of tasting some of the best coffees from around the world. His job is so rough sometimes. He also scoured the show floor hoping to be sold on new products and cool gadgets and get free handouts and samples. I got a free water bottle so, that was cool. I’m definitely looking forward to checking out the floor tomorrow after my stage time.

So between this paragraph and the last I found out I’m going to the Finals in USLAC! I’m excited to be included in the top six. I’m very focused going into tomorrow. I have a plan and confidence that with proper preparation, I can execute said plan and take the competition. What’s on the line tomorrow? Well tomorrow will decide who is the first ever United States Latte Art Champion. Also that person will be going to Melbourne Australia in just a few weeks to compete in the World Latte Art Competition at MICE, a food and drink expo held annually. We won’t have the results until Sunday afternoon when they announce the winner at the closing ceremony. Tomorrow night I’m going to be throwing down at a local event. Should be a fun more relaxed competition than USLAC, but I’m still looking forward to representing The Roasterie and KC.

We talked with and met a lot of new folks today, from farmers to importers and exporters to roasters and baristas. The coffee community is filled with my favorite people and to have 10,000 plus all in one place makes for a great time to learn and develop relationships that help make this industry grow and work better for our consumers.

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Despite forecasts of rain earlier this week the weather turned out perfect today. I’ve got a few more shots of the city I’ll share later.

DAY 3

Today was split into two for me. Half of the day was under the crushing weight of the biggest competition performance of my life. The other half was the relief of finishing that competition and the anticipation of the results. I’ve got just a few pics to share and will give another update tonight on the results from today.

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Great to see Paul around the expo.

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Home town boy Tyler Rovenstine on stage in Semi-Finals for the US Barista Competition. Also the back of Charlie from sprudge.com head. Check out Sprudge for more photos and news of the expo.

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USBC Trophy’s by Reg Barber.

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The new brewers from Curtis. Is the trend to move components under the counter…or

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Is it to make what’s on the counter more flashy?

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World Barista Champion Michael Philips at the La Marzocco Booth.

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Mike Lanz of La Marzocco offered to show me the new Strada EE. Definitely my favorite machine.

Cheers!

Simeon Bricker a.k.a. “Professor Bean”

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