On Valentines Day weekend, a few members of our Buena Vista Roastery team attended this years Mountain Regional Barista Competition in Loveland, Colorado. Â None of us competed (next year, baby!), but we had a really great time, and were totally blown away by the quality of baristas that we saw there.
The competition was no joke; each barista had to show that, not only could they make a great drink, they could do it under immense pressure. Â In front of an eager crowd and 4 judges, they pulled their shots, made their drinks, and served them with style and flair. Â I got
sweaty palms just watching as each competitor tried not to sound nervous while explaining (via head-set mics) how, say, their espresso contains ethiopian and thus the hint of blueberry, or how they would now be cooking up a caramel sauce to use in their signature drink (yes, people brought hot-plates and prepared drink ingredients right there on stage! crazy!). Â Each barista even had to have their own specially chosen music to accompany them while they were on stage! Â And all this with a giant timer above their heads, counting Â down from 15 minutes…
Needless to say, this competition was a great experience for our BV Roastery crew. Â We tasted some really incredible espressos, and were impressed by the creativity involved in each competitor’s ‘signature drinks.’ Â WeÂ came away excited, a little intimidated, and totally challenged to become both better roasters and better baristas. Â Maybe next year, one of our own will get to compete in the Mountain Regional Barista Competition! Â Fingers crossed!