So this happened…and my life is complete 

(Reblogged from teenwolf)

(Source: airows)

(Reblogged from iwasgavin)


Honduras Las Manos Espresso at Lil’ Saint Frank (San Fransisco). Deliciously tart and sweet with nice acidity. Looking forward to visiting the full cafe when it opens soon.

Submitted by brentfortune.

(Reblogged from acuppaday)

I’m not entirely sure what this means but I kind of love it.

Glee - Come What May (brightened)

Download (1280p - 315MB) (Temporary)

Darren Criss is one of the most tele-genic people on television.

(Source: theumbrigdeway)

(Reblogged from darrencrissvideos)

this blog is sux

i’m not gonna post much here

but you can follow stuff i post here: http://bfortch.tumblr.com/

but it won’t be much about coffee…

USBC Final Standings

So much good coffee, so many solid presentations.

Here’s how it played out score-wise:


1st: 658 Pete Licata - Honolulu Coffee Co -USBC Champion 2011!!!

2nd: 632.5 Nik Krankl - Gelato Bar & Espresso Cafe

3rd: 623 Ryan Knapp - MadCap

4th: 604.5 Trevor Corlett - MadCap

5th: 585.5 Lorenzo Perkins - Caffe Medici

6th: 567.5 Kevin Bohlin - Ritual


1st: 678 Nik Krankl - Geltao Bar & Espresso Cafe

2nd: 670 Pete Licata - Honolulu Coffee Co.

3rd: 643 Ryan Knapp - MadCap

4th: 627.5 Kevin Bohlin - Ritual

5th: 620.5 Trevor Corlett - MadCap

6th: 607 Lorenzo Perkins - Caffe Medici

7th: 595.5 Jared Truby - Verve

8th: 593 Ian Levine - Verve

9th: 591 Jeremy Sterner - Peregrine

10th: 588.5 Scott Lucey - Alterra

11th: 587.5 Tyler Stevens - BARISTA *

12th: 587.5 Park Brannen - Cafe Grumpy *

13th: 585 Joseph Marrocco -  Kaldi’s

14th: 581.5 Laila Ghambari - Stumptown *

15th: 581.5 Sarah Dooley - Espresso Parts/Olympia*

16th: 571.5 Robbie Britt - Espresso Parts

17th: 567 Jacque DesMarais - The Coffee Ethic

18th: 564.5 Devin Chapman - Coava

19th: 558 Sam Purvis - Coava

20th: 550 Row Aczon - Honolulu Coffee Co

21st: 543 Ryan Wilbur - Stumptown

22nd: 542 Nicole Call - Kaldi’s

23rd: 540 David Delchamps - 1000 Faces Coffee

24th: 511 Chandler Rentz - Batdorf & Bronson

25th: 510 Phillip Search - Dallis Bros.

26th: 506.5 Michael Harwood - Carrboro

*In the event of a tie, the competitor with the higher total espresso score (on all sensory sheets) beats the tie/gets the higher placement.

ROUND ONE TOP TEN (Regional Champions not included in this round)

1: Jared Truby - Verve 

2: Ryan Wilbur - Stumptown

3: Ian Levine - Verve

4: Trevor Corlett - MadCap

5: Park Brannen - Cafe Grumpy

6: Lorenzo Perkins - Caffe Medici

7: Kevin Bohlin - Ritual

8: Laila Ghambari - Stumptown

9: Nik Krankl - Gelato Bar & Espresso Caffe

10: Tyler Stevens - BARISTA

We suggest you avoid comparing round-to-round scores and competition-to-competition numbers too much. Raw scores are not a good indicator of performance in other competitions (WBC etc.) and there are many factors that will impact scoring. The purpose of each round is also different - to find the finalists, to find the semi-finalists, to find the champion. 

United States Barista Champion 2011 Pete Licata

USBC Finals: Kevin Bohlin

Kevin Bohlin - Ritual 

Kevin is sharing a washed coffee from Honduras, La Piñona. Kevin recently visited the farm, met the farmer, and was able to cup the coffee on the farm. Pacas profile - savory sweet aroma, citrus acidity,  Leaves a dry ground sample.  Invokes crema color rule calling out hazelnut crema with golden amber. Espressos down first - honey sweetness, stir thoroughly and drink to bottom for candy sweetness. 3:30 in and he goes to work on capps…    In capps the coffee’s sweetness really comes forward with tastes like an Italian florentine cookie.  Sweetness comes from the producer’s quality control program and relies mostly on his family to pick the cherries. Super sweet coffee = super sweet cappuccino.

Kevin describes his sig drink to be like his visit to this farm - simple yet complex, sweet yet bright, cool and refreshing like the mountain air was when he was hiking the finca.

He pulls three sets of shots for his sig drink, juices some pineapple on stage, and serves them together. The coffee is the base and filters out the crema using a paper filter and a V60. He adds the pineapple juice as a base creating a refreshing and balanced drink with a sweet fruity acidity. The next element is a raw meadow-foam honey that acts to round out the edges of the drink. He adds the coffee to a low-mineral content sparkling water to add efferevesence and make it refreshing, adding a little bitterness to balance out what was lost in the crema.  Asks judges to sip pineapple juice first, pour the juice in with the water and espresso in a wine glass. Asks judges to coat inside of their mouth with the honey, take a sip of the combined elements, note experience, finish quickly to include the sweet honey.  Plenty of time remaining, Kevin makes it look easy and calls time at 14:52.

USBC Finals complete!

Why he could be Champ: Kevin comes from Ritual which has a proven track record of USBC competition and some super solid coffees by some of the best in the west. He has great training support, green quality, and roasting skill in his pocket, plus he’s a super nice guy and has an ‘it” factor.  He’s a first timer at the USBC, so its rare for a first-timer to take home the top prize.  But he made it through the first two rounds to land here, so he obviously has solid Barista chops.

There’s a pretty good sized crew in the audience to cheer on Kevin, and they’ve got special Texas Ritual shirts.

Here’s some info on this coffee from Ritual’s Director of Quality Control and the newly but repeat US Cup Taster’s Champion, Ben Kaminsky: We are very excited about the return of Sebastián Benitez’s La Piñona. Near the beautiful town of El Cielito, Sebastian grows these Pacas cherries on his small, 2-hectare farm 1615 meters above sea level. The cooler temperatures in El Cielito help slow down the maturation of the cherries. Working the farm with the help of his wife and their 12 children, Sebastián relies on the help of only a handful of employees during the harvest, and manages to do all of the coffee-farming himself. He also processes his own coffee in a small mill, pulping the coffee by hand and fermenting it in a small cement tank. This year, he was able to dry his coffee on tables provided by Ritual as an investment in his efforts. That investment seems to be paying off in the form of amazing flavor: pineapple upside-down cake sweetness with a clean, citric acidity and a honey-like finish. As espresso, the Pinona remains wonderfully balanced, but further embraces and emphasizes hoppy aromas, fresh pine and fir qualities and pineapple flavor in the cup, with a viscous honeycomb finish. 

2011 US Cup Taster’s Champ Ben Kaminsky - Ritual

USBC Finals: Ryan Knapp

Ryan Knapp - MadCap Coffee (NCRBC Champ)

Ryan is one of two regional champion to make finals. Ryan is the roaster at MadCap.

He’s sharing two fantastic Colombian coffee from the Herrera region in Tolima. Each coffee is grown about two miles apart by two brothers, and named for each.

The first coffee is in the Luis Reinoso in the capps. Yields a malt flavor, great body which pairs well with 1700-1800 m, washed and patio dried bourbon and caturra. Dark chocolate, notes of citrus, smooth and creamy. Dosing 21 grams to highlight big flavor.

2 miles north, similar elevation and practices, and similar soil, but brighter, more clear, 100 percent caturra single varietal. A bit more sparkly, slightly cooler, longer ripening which produces a sweeter cup. These show up in the espressos. Ryan roasted this coffee 2 minutes less than the Luis Reinoso and dropped 5 degrees earlier. He’s dosing at 18 grams with a faster extraction brings out the fruity acidity. He asks the judges to stir well to incorporate all the elements and get nose to experience aromatics. Big, clean, sweet and balanced all the way across. Snappy acidity and a nice grapefruit bitterness.

Sig drink: chocolate ganache with depth and complexity that pairs with the Luis Reinoso that contains a bit of citrus and a nutty flavor. Paired with grapefruit juice, a bit of honey and some water. He’s using both coffees in the sig drink, two different extractions. Get to work on shots with 3 minutes and change remaining. (These finals competitors are really pulling a lot of shots in their 15 minutes!) Part 1 is the Luis Reinoso pulled into the dark chocolate. Rich, deep and intense. He asks the judges to take little sips. The second beverage is the dedeiere pulled into grapefruit juice, stir, smell and take small sips. Not meant to be a pairing or for balance, but experiencing how two coffees grown so close together can be so different.

Ryan calls time at 15:00 on the nose. Well done!

Why he could be Champ: Ryan is the roaster at MadCap, so he has complete control over the roast profile of his coffee. His training has been supported by his team mate Trevor, also in the finals. His technical knowledge of his coffee paired with explanation of dosing and extraction, and how those things impact the cup quality, paired with his good use of story could really wow the judges and be just the sort of thing they’d like to send to WBC.  His Colombian coffees could also fare very well given the location of the upcoming World Barista Championships.

USBC Finals: Lorenzo Perkins

Lorenzo Perkins - Cafe Medici, Austin TX

Story between two farmers, Separated into two lots, Jose Antonio by Cuvee.  This coffee is three months off patio and not yet available. One bag was air shipped up for Lorenzo to use in the competition.

This coffee has a lower yield than some varietals due in part to a lot more shade. The challenges of cultivating this coffee are only equalled by its rewards. Specialty coffee is not an accident, it is intentionally crafted. To take a little extra risk, we can produce something that’s hopefully beautiful with no guarantee of success.

Coffee features jasmine on the nose, sweet orange acidity in front, jasmine in the middle, and sweet tangerine and chocolate in the finish. 

Orange bourbon is carefully harvested by highly trained pickers which can result in a quality cup.  Roasted to 422 degrees F in just under 14 minutes, this coffee is wonderful in a press pot, on the cupping table, or in a portafilter.

With milk, should get citrus and cream and the chocolate becomes a wonderful light caramel. Capps down with 6 minutes and some change remaining. 

Sig drink has two elements. First to emphasize high ends, second to emphasize low ends.  Tanzanian chocolate and concord grape juice to counter balance the jasmine. White chocolate ganache to represent creamy body. Pixie tangerine juice emphasize the high tone structure. Espresso is the final element of the drink.  Starts high and ends low.  White choc, tangerine and espresso, has judges stir and enjoy in three sips. The low is espresso with the dark chocolate and again three stirs and three sips.  

Drinks down and calls time! Done. 

Why he could be champ: Lorenzo is the local favorite and is almost on home turf. (He lives & works in Austin which is about a 3 hour drive.) He’s competed in the SC regional and this is his fifth competition routine, having done this twice in regionals and made it through round one and semi-finals of the USBC to land in finals. Here’s a video of Lorenzo discussing his SCRBC presentation. The coffee is just off the patio, and according to Lorenzo is “sparkling.” Fresh coffee seems to be key in this year’s USBC.

USBC Finals: Nik Krankl

Nik Krakl - Espresso Bar & Gellato Cafe

Nik is focusing on shot weight. Although his presentation is numbers heavy, he tells judges that’s not important, wants judges to pay attention to how the beverage weight changes impact flavors. He’s using a fresh lot peaberry coffee from Caracol- Finca Matalapa El Salvador roasted by Ecco Caffe.

Nik’s table includes some small menus with coffee info, and his Robur-E grinder is on top of a wooden drawer for his knock box.

Espressos are pulled at 28 grams (shot weight, not coffee dose). They offer sugary cranberry up front, and spice of mild cinnamon and nutmeg in finish.

Capps come to the table, offering a warm buttered croissant quality with a subtle raspberry jam. Beverage weight increased to 31/32 grams to pull out more savory qualities and less dry cranberry.

Proposed of pacas and peaberry varietals. Drops some farm info, La Liberdad region of El Salvador. The farm faces the Pacific which receives a great deal of moisture. Coffee is 6 days off roast.  The peaberry is easier to roast uniformly because of the shape. A typical peaberry lot is comprised of coffees from across the farm, and therefore not a zone specific lot. The lot comes from all over the farm which helps explain why this coffee can be so dynamic in the cup. More info here.

He’s creating a French press which he pours through a V60 paper filter to change the mouth feel into something more clean. For the espresso weight, he’s using 25/26 gram brewed beverage weight which will really bring forward those cranberry notes. He adds the espresso to the refiltered French press gaining the richness without the grittyness. For the final drink, he’s using aeration to enhance sweetness and cool the coffee, softer mouthfeel and increased sweetness. Progression in color, temperature, mouthfeel and taste, beginning sipping from left to right French press sip, aspirate the raspberry, then drink the espresso anyway you want, and calls time. Done. 

Why he could be Champ: Nik has some stellar fresh-crop coffee and has been trained by some of the best in the business.  With the roasting power of Ecco Caffe behind him, and some training support from Intelligentsia, Nik has the elements that can make a champion. He placed third in the SWRBC (two competitors in USBC finals) and don’t count him out of this race. His signature drink is killer. 

USBC Finals: Pete Licata

Pete Licata - Honolulu Coffee Co.


Pete begins sharing the story of his introduction to this Kona coffee. He refers judges to the flavor tasting cards on the table and goes to work preparing the honeyd coffee, 3 specific tastes as he experienced them. Red typica, 1800 ft. Rusty’s Hawaiian, he picked himself, pulped them, and saved the cascara to make a tea representing the first taste he had of this coffee.  He let it cure in the parchment for three months. The 2nd taste was in Honolulu, a light roast of the coffee that he cupped, and noted flavors that he showcases in a French press.  The 3rd tasting was as an espresso.  He pulls the shots, lets them cool for a moment, and then pours the tea thru a cloth filter. He explores the sugars from the mucelig, sour fruit notes, and the parchment has a grain flavor.  French press focuses on the sweetness of chocolate and caramel, natural acidity. Roasted longer for espresso which translates to more sweetness and subduing the big acidity and natural fruit flavors.  Taste them as tea, French press, and then espresso, from light flavors to heavy flavors, sweetness translating through the three.  Coffee is balanced and sweet, but not very complex.

In his cappuccinos, he’s going to introduce another coffee which will improve the complexity. Caramel sweetness in the crema ring, dried ginger in the bottom of the cup. The natural coffee, also from Rusty’s Hawaiian, is both red & yellow caturra which Pete dried on raised screens for 3 weeks and cured in the fruit for 3 months. Wow.

Found another coffee on Kona which he pulped, and did two separate 12 hour dry fermentations with a rinse between that cleaned up this coffee a lot.  

Ask judges to evalute crema, stir and take in the nose of tropical fruit. Wants them to wait a moment until it cools.  50% of honey, 35% of washed and 15% of natural. He layered the coffees together. Meyer lemon, blackberry, chocolate and caramel in the cup. 

Thanks judges, calls time at 14:56.

Why he could be Champ: Pete is back again in the USBC finals, and has been here before. He is the SWRBC champion, one of two regional champions who made it thru to finals. He’s been intimately involved in all steps of his coffee’s production, from selection and harvest to process to roast, and this hands-on knowledge can really help the judge’s connect. Two competitor’s from Honolulu Coffee were in the semi finals, proving their coffee has merit here. Pete has been focused throughout the weekend and has been seen in the competitor’s prep room and lounge with his headphones and iPod, presumably going thru his routine in his head. Anytime you see a regional champion in the finals, you know they are a front-runner.

USBC Finals: Trevor Corlett

Trevor Corlett - MadCap Coffee Company

Showcasing a coffee from Los Lobos in Colombia, just a few weeks off the farm.  This is the same coffee that won the Good Food Awards, but this year’s crop. (The coffee is so new that its not yet available from MadCap, but coming soon).  He begins with capps. Tasting notes: Sweet creamy milk chocolate, hint of baked apple.  The capps become the first face of this coffee.  Espressos up next. This coffee sparkles, being fresh from harvest. Offers an intense yet balanced espresso.  Cherry and lime sweetness, lingering finish will be a great introduction into the signature drink.  

Sig drink: he prepares two signature drinks using ingredients he’s tasted in the Los Lobos. He’s created a sauce with each of the three, and creates tasters. Red - lemon juice, cherry concentrate, and mulling spice.  Yellow - lime juice, quince, and crystalized ginger.  He pulls his espresso into saucers. The drinks are intended to be intense, just as his espresso is intense. The tasters are meant to warm-up the tastes buds. He goes to work on his shots with just under 3:30 remaining.

Aks judges to take taster. Delivers espressos in brandy snifters, asks judges to swirl and take those back, then goes to work on phase 4, just over 1:00 remaining.  Phase 4 is the second taster, tip it back, and swirl and follow with the 2nd set of shots.  Calls time at 15:14 and done!


Why he could be Champ: Trevor has been here before. Experience goes a long way in the USBC. It’s been a big year for Mad Cap. Trevor and Ryan were hononred with a Good Food Award, and their coffee has been receiving other accolades. He had a strong showing in his regional, and is using a proven coffee. His signature drink looks great, is complex, and seems to be very coffee-centric with a focus on aromatics and embraces the way coffee is always changing.  This should go over well with the judges. He also seems relaxed in his final’s performance, and seems to be having FUN which is key. His genuine nature comes thru whenever he’s performing. Well done!