#TNTNW at Caffe Ladro

Last Thursday a group of amazing Baristas gathered at Caffe Ladro’s 801 Pine location to learn and throwdown some latte art. We moved the event up one week so that we could welcome Baristas and industry folk that were here for the SLS. It felt like a family reunion!

First off we had a round-table discussion on Cafe Culture:The Dichotomy of Tradition and Innovation. After a nice intro by Mr. Peter Giuliano it was time for Cole McBride to take it away. Cole led the discussion and we had Brandon Paul Weaver (Slate Coffee), Daniel Streetman (Irving Farm), and Lorenzo Perkins (Cuvee Coffee) on the panel. The conversation made us rethink what exactly tradition is and how something becomes a tradition.

Secondly we had a throwdown! Our special guest judges were Lorenzo Perkins (Cuvee Coffee), Trevor Corlett (Madcap Coffee), and Alexandra LittleJohn (Verve Coffee). With that kind of talent you can bet the competitors had to bring their A game. Lots of beer and wine was drunk and you can bet a good time was had!  32 Baristas gave it their all but only three would bring home some sweet prizes and bragging rights. Did we mention that Ryan Wilbur poured steaming hot milk in Lorenzo’s mouth after finishing his latte art? Yeah, it was that kind of a night. After everyone poured their hearts out we had our three champions. 

  1. Sam Brandvein-Caffe Ladro
  2. Terika Raak-Caffe Ladro
  3. Maxwell Mooney The Spotted Cow

Gotta thank our title sponsors Barista Magazine, Craft Coffee, and Baratza for their continued support of #TNTNW!!! We’d be lost without these great sponsors!

IMG_7710 IMG_7726 IMG_7723 IMG_7719 IMG_7718 IMG_7715


Poster for #TNTNW at Olympia Coffee Roasting Co.

Check out this great poster Honor Forte of Oly Coffee made for the #TNTNW next week! He did an awesome job!


#TNTNW at Oly Coffee

#TNTNW at Oly Coffee

Get yo grind on!

Good afternoon y’all! We are so happy to announce that we have our third and final Title sponsor for the 2013 season. You know them well…Baratza! Baratza has been an influential part of the Barista community since 1999. You can see how committed they are just by how many events they are a part of, from the smallest throwdown to large events like the World Aeropress Championship. We couldn’t be happier for them to partner with us to make #TNTNW even better!

Here is what they have committed to providing:

Thanks again to Baratza for all that you do for our industry.


Our newest Title Sponsor!

Happy Monday! Today we have a new title sponsor for the rest of the #TNTNW season. Craft Coffee has signed up to donate a three month subscription to one of the winners of each event through the year.

This is pretty amazing. If you’re not familiar with Craft Coffee let me get you up to speed. At Craft HQ Michael and an expert team of tasters goes through cupping after cupping of coffee after coffee from all around the country and Canada! We’re going on our second year with Craft Coffee at Espresso parts and it’s been amazing.  Make sure to head to craftcoffee.com to see their subscription options!

Big thanks to Craft Coffee for supporting the #TNTNW series! The coffee community is amazing!

Craft Coffee

What we’re up to.

Happy Wednesday! In our continued effort to provide more for the Throwdown community we will be posting more content. We won’t just be posting about #TNTNW but we’ll also bring in other TNT communities as well. We’ll interview TNT organizers, write-up guides on how to run your own TNT, and more. Make sure to stay tuned. As always if you have any questions feel free to e-mail panda@espressoparts.com

Ohh and before we forget!!!! Make sure to head over to the Barista Magazine blog for the Humpday Giveaway!




May TNT: Baked & Wired

@tntwdc just posted that they will be having their next event at Baked & Wired in DC. If you are in the area make sure to show up and throw down!

DMV Coffee

Mark your calendars, boys and girls, because we’re heading to Baked & Wired on May 9 for the next installment of Thursday Night Throwdown! Fresh off DC’s epic victory over Chicago in the April TNT, we’re ready to showcase the District’s best once again in a battle for barista supremacy.

This month’s TNT will feature a DJ, crazy good baked treats, the extraordinary Miles Deniro Drag Queen Emcee, a few tricks and surprises, and all the wonderfulness you’d expect from the Baked & Wired crew.

And BIG THANKS to the May TNT sponsors: MadCap Coffee, Trickling Springs Creamery, Crystal Press, 9:30 Club, Howard Theatre and District Bean.

Sign up begins promptly at 8:30 p.m., and the pouring starts at 9 p.m. There’s a $5 buy-in to pour. This event is BYOB.

Baked & Wired (Georgetown)
1052 Thomas Jefferson Street, NW
Washington, DC 20007

Download this flyer

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#TNTNW at Visions Espresso

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 colecofeeseattle@gmail.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.

#TNTNW at Visions Espresso

#TNTNW at Visions Espresso


Hello everyone. We’ve had two great events this year thanks to La Marzocco USA and Cafe Cesura. La Marzocco rolled out the red carpet and treated everyone to some tasty beverages and some amazing swag. Baristas had the choice of throwing down in the latte art comp or participating in a triangulation cupping or BOTH. Ohh yeah Sprudge DJ’d too…NBD. #TNTNW @ La Marzocco USA The event at Cafe Cesura was the first educational #TNTNW event so far. That’s right! There was no latte art thrown down but some serious knowledge instead. We had the top brewers in our region grace us with their presence. Brewers Cup Champ Brandon Paul Weaver and second place winner Ben Jones showed us what it takes to brew great coffee. They also answered questions form the crowd. It was a really great time and Cafe Cesura even fed everyone pizza!

#TNTNW @ Cafe Cesura.

#TNTNW @ Cafe Cesura.

We’ve been having such a great time getting the community together for these events. If you’ve ever hosted THANK YOU! #TNTNW wouldn’t work without all of the amazing cafes that have been involved. If you would like to host please check the schedule below. We look forward to many more years of #TNTNW. Thank you!!!

#TNTNW at Batdorf & Bronson

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.


  Throughout the competitor’s pours, the conversations ranged from espresso-as-culinary-art to BGA members volunteering at rest stops, to latte art soapboxing. The keg became a rotating hub of conversations and a meeting place for old friends and a great place to make new ones.  This #TNTNW drew some folks I had just met while in Portland for the SCAA 2012 Event, so playing host to them at an event helped reconnect with them and meet their peers.
  I find myself wanting to mention all the people that were there, but it’s not about the names.  This event is about building and growing the coffee community, and if it were to be measured in growth or connections made then I would call this a huge success. Four years ago, I drove from Idaho to be part of a larger community, and met a ton of amazing people. I got introduced to some great people and made some lifelong friends. Four years later, I got to host the event at the same coffeehouse with a lot of the same people. A lot of changes have transpired between those two events, but one thing has stayed the same: coffee professionals are an inspired and passionate bunch. Thanks for showing up and helping make some great memories.
-Andrew Raymond Tucker MacLeod
B&B Coffee Roasters
#TNTNW Results
1: Andrew Raymond Tucker MacLeod
2: Ryan Foss
3: Terika Raak


Last Thursday was the first #TNTNW of the season. Olympia Coffee Roasting Co. hosted not only a latte art throwdown but a triangulation cupping to boot! WE HAD SOO MUCH FUN! Gravity Beer Market supplied the beer, La Marzocco kicked down some awesome swag, Barista Magazine gave a year subscription away to the winner, Espresso Parts gave out some rad demis, and The Bearded Ladies brought Dessert.. There was even a video premier of Oly Coffee’s gorgeous origin video.

Oly Coffee is really small and around 50 filled the roastery and cafe for the festivities. The latte art throwdown was held in the cafe. There was lot’s of loud music, beer drinking, dancing, OHH and beautiful pours. The triangulation cupping was a lot quieter and took place in the roastery.

Latte Art Finalists

  1. Brady MacDonald-Urban Coffee Lounge
  2. Amanda Jean Atkins-ZOKA
  3. Mollie Burdette-Sound City Coffee

*Triangulation results tomorrow.

One thing that stood out to me was the amount of people who traveled for this #TNTNW. We Olympians are proud coffee people who sometimes feel like we go unnoticed because we are book ended by Seattle and Portland. We even had a few people from as far out as Wenatchee! Stayed tuned for the next host to be announced for SCAA.

Thanks to everyone who came and showed their support for the coffee community. WE LOVE YOU.