It had been four years since Batdorf & Bronson hosted a #TNTNW. The last time Batdorf & Bronson hosted, I worked in a cafe in Moscow and drove over from Idaho with my wife Lenore, carpooling with Jennifer (one of the baristas at the cafe I managed, who is now at Trabant) and partner Brian. It was there I met Mike Cannon, Matt Crisophe, Michael “Panda” Fernandez, and a TON of other great baristas who threw down on the La Marzocco Linea at the end of the bar. Last Thursday, Batdorf & Bronson opened their doors to host the event again.
The crowd held many of the same people from that #TNTNW four years ago, but drew even more new people. There were baristas from Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Olympia and surrounding areas in the coffeehouse ready to do battle. There was a lot of great energy and playful trash talk, but even more prevalent was the camaraderie and sense of community. I asked around at Batdorf for judges and got Jenya Campbell, Dan Graham and Marcus Young to help out. Marcus came up from Portland with a keg of Migration Brewing’s “Cluster Fuggle” and brought Rusty Angell from BunnTrifecta who set up the home on the bar. We got Rusty to brew some coffees up for anyone who wanted one, and got the keg primed. There were about 20 people ready to put their skills to the test for a chance to win the buy-in and take home some sweet swag.
The format was single elimination brackets, with no rules on pours. The judge’s table was set up, and competitors chose to either pour in front of the table or walk their cup carefully over after finishing. Arturo a Barista from B&B dosed and pulled shots for each barista, which helped move the rounds along and kept the shots consistent.