Recent controversy around the cancelations of regional barista competitions by the SCAA has led to lively online discussion concerning the future of coffee competitions. Many voices are calling for a competition that features teamwork, audience interaction, and realtime judging. In many ways, coffee professionals want a competition more like America’s Best Coffeehouse, a competition put on by one of our sponsors, CoffeeFest. In addition to having one of the largest prize packages in competitive coffee sports, we think this competition has the highest correlation to a barista’s actual job: serving real people coffee in a café setting. We recently had the opportunity to interview Patrick Burns, owner and founder of a previous winner of the competition, Palace Coffee in Amarillo and Canyon, Texas.
Whether it’s USBC or latte art, you and your staff are seasoned competitors. What inspired you to compete in the ABC competition? What’s unique about this competition?
What did you learn? Did it change anything at Palace Coffee or confirm what you were already doing?
Photo by http://www.coffeeloversmag.com
ABC is unique with its three-person team format. What was the experience like for your team?
What was the biggest challenge? Why do you think your team was able to win?
Whether it’s the material cost or the long hours of preparation, competing can be a big sacrifice. Was it worth it?
Going to competitions is one of the most important expenses we invest in as a company. It helps you become a better barista, team, and all around coffee professional. The camaraderie with your team and honestly the other shops and judges is what makes it well worth it.
What advice do you have for other teams considering doing this competition?