We Went to the 2014 Big Eastern Barista Competition and Took a Bunch of Pictures

Big Eastern 2014

On January 17-19, the best baristas on the entire East Coast descended on Durham, NC for the 2014 Big Eastern Barista Competition. Official online media sponsors Sprudge had the coverage locked down, but that didn’t stop us from snapping a bunch of pictures between downing shots of espresso brewed by former US Barista Champion Katie Carguilio and geeking out with industry friends we normally only see on social media. Also, Michael placed fifth in the Southeast and will advance to USBC in Seattle.


When he wasn’t emceeing the barista comp or deejaying the after party, reigning Southeast Regional Barista Champion Lem Butler joined Katie in serving complimentary espresso from event sponsor Counter Culture Coffee to the crowd. We were lucky enough to snag a shot of the Buziraguhindwa Burundi Natural Sundried, which J. Park Brannan used to win the Northeast Barista Competition.

Michael Butterworth Quills Big Eastern Barista


Big Eastern Barista

The event was held in a refurbished cotton mill, aptly named the Cotton Room.


Then there was this guy.



A lot of jeans were cuffed. A lot of ties were tied.

Big Eastern Barista




Local microroaster Carrborro Coffee provided free coffee at the downstairs pop-up shop, equipped with every conceivable Mahlkönig grinder, including a EK-43 Twin.

Big Eastern Barista Andrew Cash

Big Eastern Barista

Did we mention all of the ties?

Big Eastern Barista 2014 finalists

Camila Ramos’s winning routine was inspiring. Drop whatever you’re doing and watch it.


We went to the 2014 Big Eastern Barista Competition and all we got was this stupid T-shirt (actually the T-shirt is really cool and made with organic North Carolina cotton!). But seriously, Durham was fun. Next stop, Seattle.

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