Coffee Festivus

We may not exhibit at Coffee Fest but Espresso Parts definitely had a strong presence. Between our third annual #TNTNW Coffee Fest Kickoff at Neptune Coffee & The Nightcap event held at Liberty Bar we were pretty busy. We sent Panda our Community Coordinator up to Seattle to cover all the action at and away from Coffee Fest. Enjoy!

Hey there! It’s your friend Panda here with your Coffee Fest recap. Early Thursday morning I boarded a train to Seattle to attend Coffee Fest and make sure that both of our events went smoothly. First I headed to Trabant for a nice espresso with our good friends!

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After fueling up on some caffeine I made my way to Neptune Coffee for one of our biggest #TNTNW of the year. This is the third year that Neptune has opened their doors for our Coffee Fest kickoff throwdown and we couldn’t be more appreciative.

Every year this event gets bigger and bigger and this year was no different. We had 32 spots available and they wen’t quick! Like Flash Gordon quick. After we got the beer flowing and some tasty food from Morsel in our bellies it was time to get this thing rolling.

What’s great about this event is that we get a real mix of competitors and industry folks.  The whole Baratza crew was in the house, Seattle Coffee Gear showed up, latte art champion Cabell Tice (who went on to win the CF comp), Andy Kwon, Nobumasa Shimoyama, and the list could go on forever. You get a real feel of community and camaraderie.

After the dust settled and we all spilled pretty designs in cups we had our top three Baristas! These guys took home some sweet prize packs from Espresso Parts, Yama, Neptune Coffee, Kuma Coffee, Velton’s Coffee, Baratza, Barista Magazine, and Craft Coffee!

  1. Kil Moon Lee
  2. Kyle Dols
  3. Takahiro Matsumoto

It was now Friday and Coffee Fest was in full swing! In my opinion, the highlight of Coffee Fest was America’s Best Coffeehouse competition. My favorite part about the competition is that not only do the judges get to taste the coffee but they welcome attendees to get drinks during the whole event. Props to everyone who competed! This kind of event takes a lot of dedication and skill. Everyone was amazing but like The Highlander there can be only one. The talented and dare I say good looking folks at Slate Coffee were crowned America’s Best Coffeehouse 2013.

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After mixin’ it up on the show floor and  a quick stop at Cyber Dogs it was time to make my way to Victrola for the Coffee Fest opening Reception. Victrola has hosted some EPIC parties in the past and Espresso Parts was happy to donate Yama Glass prize packs for this big event! This event included a unique competition envisioned by the crafty folks at Victrola. Baristas were required to pour their lattes and then walk through the packed space, with said lattes in hand, to finally deliver the drink to the judges within one minute. To my knowledge no one spilled their drink and it was great fun to watch competitors struggle through the massive crowd!

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Immediately following the Victrola party everybody wandered up the street to Liberty Bar where Espresso Parts hosted a wildly popular Nightcap event! Working with Alex Negranza (An Evening With) we had a beautifully curated menu of special cocktails and desserts for everyone to enjoy.

Liberty was a huge success! The place was packed with happy faces. We have to give major props to Liberty for letting us hold our event at their amazing bar and rolling out the red carpet for our guests!

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My last stop before heading home was the Visions Seattle Barista Jam Party. This event was pretty awesome. There was a hot dog stand outside and free beer so I was set. DJ Sprudge was there with some fresh tunes too. OHH! I almost forgot that I got to judge for the first time! Judging was a really fun time and difficult. Just look at those pours below, they’re both amazing! I felt my reign as judge will be remember as fair and impartial for years to come.

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A great time was had this weekend. It was great to see and work with such amazing people. Coffee Fest 2013 is in the books and here’s to Portland 2014!

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