We're super-excited that our own Katie Carguilo won the Northeast Regional Barista Championship (NERBC) in New York this weekend! Congrats to Katie and to Brady Guinn from Boston's Pavement Coffeehouse who finished second in the NERBC Brewer's Cup using El Gavilán. And, big-big thanks to the many talented competitors who used Counter Culture Coffee in the competition. Please join us in wishing Katie luck at the United States Barista Championship, April 19-22, in Portland, OR.
In addition to her high-scoring espressos and cappuccinos, Katie's signature beverage was comprised of nectarine and lemon juices combined with jasmine green tea, sparkling water, and vinegar topped with an espresso preparation of Haru (from a cooperative in Yiragacheffe, Ethiopia) and served in a grappa glass.
"All of those flavors are in the fermentation water," notes Katie, referring to the production process of ripe coffee cherries in Ethiopia in which coffee beans (seeds) are submerged in water to help to remove the fruity mucilage.
The Haru espresso component for her drink was specially sorted for pre-roast bean size consistency by our roasting department. "It helps the coffee ultimately taste better," observes Katie, "because it can be roasted more evenly." For her espressos and cappuccinos, she used Idido Natural Sundried.
"Winning is really exciting," Katie acknowledges, "but even the other times I've competed and not won were very informative and rewarding. It's one thing to make beverages and taste them and to hone your technique but it's another experience entirely to have other people give you feedback that's completely honest. It was so much fun."
Check out Meister's annotated photo set from NERBC on flickr. And, here's an interview with Katie about coffee in general from WNYC radio in New York.