OLY vs. ATL Manual Brew Battle Wrap-up
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.
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.
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.
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.