CoffeeFest NYC 2013 has come and gone but baristas and coffee professionals across the world are still in withdrawals from the mass amounts of caffeine consumed March eighth through the tenth at the Javits Center in Manhattan. As always, a lot of the activity focused on the competitions and their was no shortage of entertainment for fans of competitive coffee preparation.
America’s Best Coffee House
Peregrine Espresso won the America’s Best Coffee House competition. When I saw their name on the competitors list, I knew if they could recreate their cafe experience they would be hard to beat. Their Capitol Hill location is one of my favorite cafes in the States and they always knock customer service out of the park. Judging by their shiny champion’s trophy, they pulled it off. Contestants were entrusted with a mock-cafe on the trade show floor for an hour, in which they had to set up the cafe, make drinks for customers, and clean before the next team came on. Standards were set high with coffee industry veterans Chris Deferio and Pete Licata serving as judges. For the first time the competition streamed live and people from around the globe tuned in for the final announcement on the last day of the conference.
Latte Art World Championship Open
First time contestant Cabell Tice of Thinking Cup won the Latte Art World Championship Open. Kenny Smith of Sunergos Coffee took second (for the second time in his CoffeeFest Career) and Nobumasa Shimoyama of Oli & Ari in Melbourne, Australia placed third. Cabell and Kenny’s final pours were both very impressive, and the competitors had to wait over four nail-biting hours to hear the judges’ final decision. The competition was fierce throughout the entire tournament, with previous champions Ryan Soeder and Christopher “Nicely” Abel Alameda bowing out relatively early. Contestants came from as far as Japan, Korea, Germany, Israel, and Taiwan to compete.
America’s Best Espresso
Ceremony Coffee won the America’s Best Espresso competition with a single-origin Kenya Igutha espresso. Ceremony, which is based in Annapolis Maryland, also provided free pour-overs for CoffeeFest attendees the entire weekend. Unfortunately I did not get to try their espresso (pulled on a Slayer espresso machine) while I was judging the competition, but considering the quality of their pour-overs, I’m not surprised they won. Each espresso was evaluated for flavor, mouth feel, and aftertaste.
You may cry that you didn’t get to pour amazing latte art in NYC (or maybe you lost…), but start practicing those rosettas and tulips now, because there’s still time to apply for CoffeeFest Chicago, June 7-9.