Another one from the “And you thought it all started in Seattle!” series.
During the North East Regional Barista Championship (NERBC) 2011, guest speaker Donald Schoenholt from Gillies Coffee gave a long and inspired speech on the history of coffee in New York City – and North America in many ways.
Too bad we couldn’t film the entire presentation, but about 90% of it is here in a 5-part video:
In PART 1 we saw the beginnings of the GREATEST latte art throwdown ever! You saw it was packed. You saw even Jesus Christ showed up to pour.
One judge noted certain baristi smelled bad. Well, that was a throwdown, not the Miss Universe. Body odors were NOT being evaluated. Let’s review the judging criteria:
- Color Contrast (highest degree of crema-foam contrast)
- Symmetry (design evenly weighted down a central axis)
- Use of Cup (design fills the cup and leaves little negative space)
- Overall Impression (complexity of design and overall artistic expression)
And we start PART 2 with judge and celebrity Kelly Choi and our MC Mike D:
Two and a half hours into the throwdown and the place was booming as never before.
We started with 48 competitors and were now down to two finalists. Danielle Glasky and Jeff Wenzel.
The format for the final was a BEST OF 3. As usual, the WHEEL of DESTINY would choose the types of design for each round. And the winner would get…. a trip to BRAZIL!
Things were even in the first two designs, with one victory for Jeff, one for Danielle. The WHEEL OF DESTINY then chose a… HEART for the last and deciding pour.
How ironic. The fate of the GREATEST latte art throwdown ever would be decided by the heart, the first design a barista learns to pour in latte art. A design considered easy by most baristi. But was it?
And the winner is…
Danielle Glasky from Cafe Grumpy!!!
The winners were as follow:
1st place – Danielle Glasky – Cafe Grumpy – won a trip to Brazil!!! Courtesy of Dallis Bros. Coffee.
2nd place – Jeff Wenzel – Joe The Art of Coffee – won a Rancilio Silvia espresso machine!
3rd place – Farah Khawaja - Joe The Art of Coffee – won a Baratza Virtuoso Preciso grinder!
4th place – Phoebe Aceto – GimmeCoffee! – won single serve goodies, courtesy of Cafe Grumpy!
Congratulations to all!
P.S. 1: Farah picking up her Virtuoso grinder on Sunday after the party:
P.S. 2: A day later Dan Mueller got a chance to interview Danielle Glasky on her way to work:
Last Saturday, April 9th, New York City was home to the greatest latte art challenge of all time!
Hosted by Joe The Art of Coffee, Cafe Grumpy, Dallis Bros. Coffee, GimmeCoffee!, and Third Rail Coffee, the NERBC afterparty throwdown took place at the Highline Loft, 508 West 26th Street, in the heart of NYC.
As soon as NERBC finalists were announced, competitors flew off the NERBC site in the afternoon to help set everything up for the throwdown.
Rules were strict. It was not we who decide the barista’s fate, but the sinister WHEEL OF DESTINY!
With each spin, the wheel would decide the type of pour the competitors would have to make.
The judging panel was formed by no one less than Silvia Magalhães, 3-times Brazilian Barista Champion; Kelly Choi, creator and producer of the show Eat Out NY; and Dave Arnold, head of the Culinary Technology department at the French Culinary Institute. And our MC could not be anyone else but Mike D.
Those who poured with patience, precision and polish would advance through the ranks towards their ultimate fate: a glorious adventure to the origins of some of the worlds greatest beans: BRAZIL!!!
Without further delay, the photos.
The event started packed as competitors lined up for a chance to go to Brazil.
Shortly after 8pm, the baristi took their turns to steam milk on the beautiful La Marzocco Strada…
And pour gorgeous designs for the appreciation of the judges.
Those who couldn’t cut it walked home in shame.
We got photographic pour that even Jesus Christ attended the throwdown as you can see below.
Sorry Dave, you kicked ass earlier at the Dallis Bros. 5th Bar Cafe, but you can’t mess with Jesus – in this case, Jeff Wenzel from Joe The Art of Coffee.
Danielle Glasky from Cafe Grumpy did not have any idea what the night had reserved for her. Dan Griffin wouldn’t give it up easy.
And that was a close call, both awesome pours.
Judges were flabbergasted as they had to make a decision and eliminate one more competitor.
And Farah Khawaja from Joe The Art of Coffee was discretely making her way into the top three.
One more pour for PART 1…
Stay tuned for PART 2… Who won the trip to Brazil??? You’ll find out… very soon!!!
Oliver Strand has been championing the surge in specialty coffee here in NYC for quite some time. His prose has been touting the skills of local coffee roasters, shops, baristas, and cafe culture. It’s appropriate and significant that he too gets a chance to basque in the glow of everything that transpired this past weekend at the NERBC.
For the first time in history the Northeast Barista Championship was held here in New York City, and right in the heart of Manhattan across from Chelea Market (home to the Food Network). All three top finalists were working with coffees roasted right here in the 5 boroughs, and all six baristas in the final round work for companies here in New York City.
The role that the press plays in sharing the coffee community’s message with the public cannot be overstated. Peter Meehan’s work with the Times was critical to helping the quality driven shops in New York reach an audience previously unaware of the quality revolution. Oliver Strand has continued in this tradition, and his latest post to the New York Times blogmust make him feel great. Thanks to all those out there that helped to make it all possible!
Battle of the Baristas
Oliver Strand in Diner’s Journal at the New York Times
The presentation that gave Philip Search from Dallis Bros. Coffee the 1st place in the NERBC 2011.
North East Regional Barista Championship (NERBC) 2011
THE WINNER OF THE NORTH EAST REGIONAL BARISTA CHAMPIONSHIP 2011 (NERBC) GOES TO PHILIP SEARCH!!!! OF DALLIS COFFEE BROTHERS. PHILIP BEAT OUT THE FINAL 6 AT THE NERBC. HE WILL NO GO DOWN TO HOUSTON FOR THE NATIONAL FINALS.
Yes indeed, the East Village is being righteously represented when Mr. Sam Penix of Everyman Espresso hits center stage. Great job Sam – that flip sig bev was amazing! While challenging the culinary world to up the ante with coffee programming Sam put the BAR in barista with his mixology classic - incorporating an egg yolk into his “Apollo Flip”.
This was Sam’s second presentation in the NERBC 2011 finals, as he had a technical difficulty in the first one (a problem with the screens at the espresso machine).
Wiggles of Irving Farms is interviewed by our own Dan Mueller (Dallis Brothers Coffee). Wiggles is part of the final 6 contestants who will be awaiting their fate shortly as the NERBC 2011 Barista winners are announced. Good luck Wiggles and the rest of the Finalists.