Barista Magazine

JUN-JUL 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 26 of 107

Clockwise from top left: Every moment of every U.S. Barista Championship competitor's routine was broadcast on a live feed, thanks to the generous support of Pacific Barista Series, so that thousands of fans from around the world could tune in to cheer for their friends and heroes. Every step of the way, Ashley Rodriguez (left) and Colin Whitcomb walked the online audience through the performance particulars, providing live commentary for every single competitor, morning until night, for all three days. The competitions couldn't take place on such a sophisticated level without volunteers—like Ashley and Colin doing the livestream, as well as the army of red-aproned coff ee professionals and enthusiasts who donated their time and energy to fi ve competitions for the weekend. In previous years, the roasting part of the United States Roaster Championship has had to take place off -site from the convention center due to the logistical issues that come with many people roasting lots of coff ee on many diff erent roasters. Thanks to the extra eff orts of the competition volunteers and staff , 2018 marked the fi rst time competitors could roast on-site, making for a more exciting competition all around. The three-ke le pouring system Becca Woodard designed for her U.S. Brewers Cup competition wasn't the only thing about her performance—which ultimately won her the national title—that le the audience breathless. "Being able to have a voice on the national competition stage was not something I took lightly, and being a queer woman, I couldn't stand up there and not acknowledge the systemic issues that are currently making it hard for many people to feel safe and included in the specialty-coff ee community," Becca said. 27

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