Hello Northwest Coffee Community my name is Cole McBride many of you know me from shops I’ve worked in or events I’ve been a part of and if we have not met please feel free to introduce yourself. My good friend Panda from Espresso Parts asked me to write a post about the past #TNTNW that was hosted by the company I work for Visions Espresso. To start off I would like to say how happy I am with the current state of our community in the Great Northwest! So many great people are so involved and so many awesome companies are stepping up to make this one of the best regions to be a part of in the world. It is my belief that much of the ground work for our current community was laid by the Barista Guild of America which was born right here in Seattle. If you don’t know about the Barista Guild of America or you just want to learn more about it please feel free to contact me anytime I’m on twitter at @colecoffee or e-mail me email@example.com or come see me at my work anytime! I look forward to helping the BGA become a bigger part of the #TNTNW and the Northwest Coffee Community in general.
So WOW this last #TNTNW was amazing! I think it should be noted how much goes into having a really great event. Many people from different companies come together for the Barista community to show you how much we care about you! Without you there is no great coffee. So to start off the thank you’s lets start with the long time supporter Baratza who gave away a Vario grinder at this last #TNTNW and has been giving away prizes to the Barista community all over the country for quite some time now. We also have a new company Slate Coffee who supported this event with the coffee used in the throwdown and also brought some amazing food for everyone to eat. I know everyone is excited to have a new coffee company that is super active in the Barista community right here in Seattle. I know we will be seeing a lot of awesome stuff coming out of this new company and that’s super exciting! Espresso Parts and Panda are a big part of every #TNTNW and a huge thank you to them is always deserved! Always willing to provide prizes and as much or as little support as the host needs to pull off the event. Last but not least is Visions Espresso the host of this #TNTNW. At this event we gave away an amazing Pasquini Livia 90 semi automatic espresso machine! This is the second espresso machine that Visions Espresso has given away at a #TNTNW. Another great item we gave out to all three finalist was our new LUXE COAT powdered coated steaming pitchers which have been a big hit in the competition circuit. Also never forget the beer! Visions Espresso bought a very tasty keg of beer that I know you all enjoyed!
This #TNTNW was a big hit with somewhere between 75-95 people in attendance and 32 Baristas competing some for the very first time. This was a very tough throwdown as it was done in the Visions Espressos new line of 4oz macchiato cups. In the first round every competitor poured a heart and this turned out to be the most difficult round. I was live tweeting the entire nights pours via the Visions Espresso twitter account @visionsespresso if you would like to see all of the pours. Next we had the 16 competitors moving on pour Rosettas and this round turned out the best pours! I was judging along with Christos Andrews of Tougo Coffee and Heather Halle of Vashon Coffee Company and we all thought this round produced the toughest decisions of the night. The next round was of course tulips. The tulip round was a lot of fun and by this time we many folks were hanging out playing the Wii out front or enjoying some tasty beer. For the final 4 we let the final competitors pour whatever they like. In 4th place we had the roaster from Caffe Ladro Dismas Smith in 3rd place from La Marzocco we had Ryan Wilbur in 2nd Crooked Arrow from Makeda Coffee and the amazing talented Director of Education of Caffe Ladro Laila Ghambari won all the money and top prizes for the night with one of the best rosettas I’ve ever seen in a Macchiato cup! This was by far the most difficult throwdown I’ve ever seen go down and a big congrats to everyone that showed up and put there game face on. These events are all about us becoming closer as a community and becoming better Baristas all the while. I can say enough how much I care about all of you and I really hope you all continue to stay involved and push the envelope.