Back in January, the BCRBC, Big Central Regional Barista Competition, took place here in Kansas City. Baristas across the Midwest came to Kansas City to show off their skills in coffee as well as passion for this beautiful bean. Spectators from across the Kansas City area, and friends and families of the baristas also came to watch the art of coffee come to life. At the event regional sponsor, Natvia was hosting a game of scavenger hunt bingo. When you arrived at the Natvia booth, you were given a bingo card with crazy things you had to find to create a bingo. Things such as mustache, bow ties, signs, signature drinks, and other items, when you created a bingo you filled out the form and handed it to the lovely lady at the booth and she in return gave you a choice of a keychain, diner mug, or plastic cold travel mug. When completing bingo, you were also entered to win an all expense paid trip to the WBC, World Barista Competition, in Melbourne, Australia. This all happened a few months ago, but why am I mentioning this now? Well this last weekend, April 11 – 14, the big USBC, United States Barista Championship, and the SCAA, Specialty Coffee Association of America, Event took place in Boston. This is where the winners of each of the regional barista competitions came together to compete to represent the United States in the WBC. On Sunday after the final round had concluded, they were announcing the winners of the Cupper’s Challenge, Brewer’s Cup, and Barista Competition. Kansas City had two individuals that placed and went on to the final rounds. Dean, from Parisi, placed 4th in the Brewer’s Cup. Pete, also from Parisi, won the Barista Competition to represent the United States in the WBC, World Barista Championship, in Melbourne. Between announcing the winners each of the competitions they were allowing sponsors to talk, which was slowly becoming a little sad because I just wanted to hear how everyone did. Between Brewer’s Cup and Barista Competition, Natvia was up to thank people, but to also call the winner of the trip to the WBC. I was not really paying attention, but realized that had called my name. That’s right; I won a trip to Melbourne to watch the WBC! I am very excited for the opportunity and the chance to visit a beautiful country.
I explain of this to you because not only am I excited about winning, but the door that now has been opened because of this trip. What door you ask? In case you do not know, I am the head barista at Homer’s Coffeehouse in Downtown Overland Park. I deal with customers every day. Most of them do not know about the complexity of coffee, the other side of coffee that often gets ignored or not seen. Now with the trip that I have won, it’s a chance I get to take to inform that not only is it a trip to Melbourne, but it is a trip to watch the WBC. Then they typically will ask about the WBC, and then I have the opportunity to explain the side of coffee they have never seen. There is science behind coffee, we do not just push buttons and their drinks come out and have latte art already on it. I can explain the complexity of coffees, like beer and wine, all have different flavor profile depending on the region it comes from.
I can also say that I am very proud and honor to be a part of such a beautiful industry. I have received so much love from my friends in Kansas City, through the Twitter-verse, Instagram, and Facebook. I have also been hearing about people I do not even know showing so much love. There is a reason a heart is the basis of all latte art, because everyone, that I know in the industry, put an awful lot of love in their craft and the people that they encounter.
This is part of the reason why I am so excited to win this trip, and then when I come back it will be about the same. I will come back even more excited about my job and this industry, and will continue to share that passion and knowledge with my friends and customers.
I am also excited, because KCMorsel is going International, when I come back I will be blogging about a few of the restaurants, and coffee shops that I have been to. You will be able to find them under Morsels on the Road, under the Other Morsels tab.