Barista Magazine

JUN-JUL 2012

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 56 of 83

Signature USBC Drinks FROM STAFF REPORTS PHOTOS BY AMANDA WILSON B aristas at the level of professionalism required to make it to the final round of the daunting United States Barista Championship (USBC) tend to be the types who prefer their coffee straight. Their level of focus on the science behind the way the coffee is grown and processed leads them to a predisposition for avoiding condiments or flair-for-the-sake-of-flair. The barista competitors whose skill set is strong enough to land them on the formidable USBC finals stage prefer to isolate the brightest, most beautiful essences of the coffees themselves; they taste their coffees best as coffee—or, of course, espresso. But in competition, these champion-level baristas must prepare other kinds of drinks than just espresso; they are required to produce exceptional cappuccinos, as well as an original, flavorful and dazzling signature beverage. So, champions that they are, these baristas throw themselves into the task, reinventing the wheel again and again, year after year. Their signature beverages must make their coffees shine, but besides that (and the no alcohol rule, of course), their freedom to be creative is infinite. After a breathtaking finals round at the 2012 USBC held in Portland, Ore., in April, we asked the six finalists to dive into the process they went through to construct their stellar signature drinks. We thought you'd be interested in finding out more—we certainly were. 53

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