Baristas braved the foot of snow and ice paving the streets of Portland to get to last nights TNT at Portland Roasting. Competitors went head to head on dueling Nuova Simonelli espresso machines in Portland Roasting’s training lab, while curious audience members surrounded the judges table and overflowed into the cafe to watch the Facebook live feed.
Sign ups began promptly at 6:30 and the 32 person bracket filled quickly. Prizes were stacked high in the adjoining viewing room for everyone to see, and included mugs, ceramics from Espresso Parts, t-shirts, industry magazine subscriptions, the entry money and top prize of a Baratza Virtuoso! Competitors and audience members alike had all eyes on that grinder!
The frigid, snow covered night, had some surprises in store for the anxious competitors. Portland Roasting set up a 4 card system that the baristas would draw from to determine type of milk, beverage type, cup type and design. The two competing baristas each drew two cards that sealed their fate, and began the showdown. With the progression of each round, one card was removed from each stack, leaving the baristas with fewer choices as the competition heated.
Congrats to our three winners!
On January 27th we’ll be in Seattle, WA at Anchorhead Coffee!
Until next time,