OLY vs. ATL Manual Brew Battle Wrap-up

Atlanta's 2nd and Third place winners, James Spano and Dan Mueller

Atlanta's 2nd and Third place winners, James Spano and Dan Mueller

We just completed the first ever coast-to-coast Manual Brew Battle on January 16th masterminded by Jason Dominy. I had doubts that we could pull it off, though they were quickly dashed! We pulled off the organization and coordination with a lot of help from many people but it made for a fun and enjoyable event. Just goes to show that Jason, Will & Emily can really bring a community of coffee folks together!

The general goal was to have folks come together for a Manual Brew Competition in Olympia and Atlanta, have a panel of three judges on each coast and come out with the top three winners of the combined scores using one coffee provided by our friends at PT’s Coffee. Between the 19 competitors in Olympia and 18 in Atlanta, nearly all the manual brew methods were used; from a wood neck to french press, aero press to Chemex and a handful of Hario V60 brews in there as well.

The crowd in Olympia arrives with lots of familiar faces.

The crowd in Olympia arrives with lots of familiar faces.

We had close to 50 people between both roasting roasting facilities. In Atlanta, the band Chimp Attack, featuring Aaron Shively and Bryan Martin played fusion jazz for the crowd, while in Olympia, Erik Correia played Celtic-inspired music with his band Pinniped.

Chimp Attack

Chimp Attack

Competitors dug in to brew their sample to present in 10 minute sessions. All the while the Skype feed keep competitors at each location watching not only what was happening in their room, but in the room where the other coast was battling down.

Our judges from Olympia were Mark Pittman, Chef Kevin Gerlich, & Sarah Dooley. And Atlanta had the cornerstone group of Matt Campisi, Chef Stephen Satterfield, & Rob Tuttle. The judges were calibrated to the coffee using the traditional cupping method to start. That gave both coasts a good baseline for descriptors and taste profile. We also kept the Extract Mojo reading of each cup to ensure that the judges were in calibration throughout the competition.

And…the winners are:
1) Brendan Parsons, UW Grad Student and Coffee Enthusiast from Seattle, WA
2) James Spano, owner of Cup to Cup in Savannah, GA (Atlanta) and
3) Dan Muller, Dallis Bros. Coffee, Atlanta, GA.

1st Place Winner, Brendon Parsons

1st Place Winner, Brendon Parsons

Even though Olympia walked away with number 1 in this first ever Coast to Coast showdown… It wasn’t just about who won; it was all about the community of coffee professionals that we have the opportunity to work with everyday throughout the country. I don’t know about you, but that makes me want to come to work every day.

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7 Responses to “OLY vs. ATL Manual Brew Battle Wrap-up”

  1. Patti Parsons says:

    Please just one more cup of Brendon’s great coffee. Keep up the great work. Congratulations!Go Olympia!

  2. Keelan Lyons says:

    I had a great time at the OLY vs. ATL Manual Brew Battle! Job well done to all competitors!

  3. Heather Ringwood says:

    Thank you for coming! It was so wonderful to have our expanded coffee loving community here and joining in!

  4. Lauren Kelly says:

    Congrats on 2nd place to James Spano! He’s a roaster, who happens to be very good at brewing too! Good job!

  5. Mark Pitman says:

    I had an exceptionally grand time being guest judge pro tem. It was such and interesting process, and Brendon can come to our humble abode and make coffee and enjoy eastern Washington hospitality, well done sir!


  6. […] and Hario woodneck cloth filter brewer. Which was the brewing method we used for our second place victory at the OLY versus ATL Brew Battle. […]

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