Liveblogging the NERBC Via Sprudge.com!

Yesterday’s by-the-minute updates from Sprudge.com.

The NERBC is live as hell! Reporting from the 11th floor midtown Manhattan, with a stunning skyline as our backdrop. You can play along via Twitter by following the hashtag #NERBC, or keep up to date here with our liveblog. Newest posts at the bottom!

Urban Eisley, Ports Coffee NYC – competes using Stumptown Guatemala El Injerto and Kenya Gatomboya

8:35am this is mr. eisley’s first time competing at #nerbc – “roasted almond, baker’s chocolate, papaya or guava from the gatomboya” – espresso

8:40 Urban’s signature drink: cherry reduction, egg yolk, almond infused cream + almond honey, pulls shot of injerto / gatomboya and asks judges to stir

8:41 urban eisley offers a steady first performance to start the day at #nerbc – calls time at 14:35 – @stumptowncoffee done proud

Rose-Emma Lunderman, of Root Hill Coffee, Brooklyn – competes using Dallis Bros. Coffee (Dominican and Brazillian Peaberry)

8:52 “i’m from upstate new york, and to be honest, i didn’t really know what a cappuccino was” – @relunderma of @roothillcafe

8:53 there’s a charming kind of debutante wonder to @relunderma’s routine – she’s new to coffee, and she’s owns that fact -

8:58 Rose’s signature drink: cocoa, bay leaves, nutmeg, cinnamon in a crock pot – raspberry whip cream – @relunderma’s version of a “dominican cocoa tea”

Tamara Vigil, Irving Farm Coffee, New York – competes using Irving Farm Honduras Cerro Gacho

9:11 tamara asks of the judges – “what kind of coffee do you like?” – the judges answer! “kenyan…ethiopian…” #chit-chat

9:18 Tamara competes uses Honduran coffee from Irving farms. She describes it as having a “bright, punchy acidity – nutty finish” – sparkling body – nutty flavors accentuated by milk #nerbc

9:22 her coffee from Irving Farm was produced by Jose Luis Estevez Medrano on his farm, Cerro Gacho, in Honduras

9:30 great routine, but she’s DQ’d – look forward to watching her compete again next year, or in Portland

Cara Vincente of Think Coffee NYC – competes using El Salvador Himalaya, sourced by Think, roasted by Dallis Bros.

9:42 cara vincente of @thinkcoffeenyc makes a salvadoran horchata for sig drink – “spicy, earthy, nutty, sweet” – cashews! sesame! want!

9:46 whoa – cara vincente calls time at like 10:45 – that has got to be some kind of record, seriously. @nickcho can you verify?

Calen Robinette of Voltage Coffee, Cambridge, MA – competed using Guatemala Buena Esperanza, roasted by Barismo.

10:06 Calen’s entire shop came down from Boston, that’s awesome

Jonathan Payne of Joe NYC – competes using Piandamo Colombia, roasted by @eccocaffe for @joecoffeenyc

1o:12 “sweetness, freshness, red wine tartness, savory creamy depth like herbs and cheese” – jonathan payne on his espresso

10:25 gutsy routine from jonathan payne @joecoffeenyc calls time at 15:58, makes a point to finish his routine with the judges – hardcore.

Tommy Green of Tiny’s Giant, NYC – competes using Honduras Las Amazonas and Finca Liquidamber roasted by @dalliscoffee

10:38 tommy green’s twitter handle is @tommygbaby, but tommy green does not, in any way, look like his twitter handle should be @tommygbaby

10:40 his sig drink is a take on the tequila slammer – star anise, strained – adds espresso, requests a stir, lick the spoon, drink

Josh Littlefield of Johnson and Wales University, Providence, RI – competes using (will update)

10:51 Josh uses milk form a rhode island dairy cooperative…”it enhances espresso, but doesn’t cover it”

10:57 josh loses his mic – doesn’t even look phased – incredibly professional, didn’t miss a beat, still smiling!

10:59 for sheer tenacity and professionalism, josh littlefield’s is 1 of the best routines all year – you would NEVER know his mic was off

11:00 creme brulee sig drink on top of all of that -blowtorches! mic failures! josh littlefield is the http://sprudge.com #nerbc hero thus far

Rachel Haughey of EspressoNEAT, Darien, CT – competes using Handsome Coffee Roasters Fisticuffs blend, currently Colombia San Sebastian and Honduras Don Merdado

11:12 @rachelhaughey drops some espressos, super intentional with the judges – “i’ll give you a moment to evaluate that individually”

11:24 clever drips honduran – san sebastian updosed espresso – no added ingredients for the sig drink from @rachelhaughey

Charlie Biando of Shot Tower Coffee, Philly – competes using Counter Culture Coffee PNG Baroida

11:38 charlie’s sig drank: condensed almond milk, orange juice, simple syrup, muddled – bartender shake for aromatics – strained into espresso

11:40 charlie biando works as he talks, pulling shots while explaining processing – washed, de-pulped, in good hands

11:43 charlie calls time at 15:09 – in a word, poised.

Sam Penix of Everyman Espresso NYC:

11:49 @everymannY sam competes w/ finca mauritania from @aidabattle – microlots sourced for @counter_culture’s pro series training courses

11:57 @everymanNY going for capps with “high quality dark chocolate” flavor notes

12:03 @everymanNY sig drink inspired by supply chain – meyer lemon juice, “very special sugar”, concord grape foam, shot of mauritania

12:08 this regional is SO new york – it’s busy, it’s crowded, it’s full of angry old ladies, the performances are amazing, it’s DOG EAT DOG

Mike Morganstern of Joe NYC

12:21 creamy, delicious peanut butter cup – easy to drink – mike morganstern of @joecoffeenyc on his capps at #nerbc

Mike Dejesus of Dallis Bros. Coffee

12:30 mike dejesus – SO new york – competes with colombian and brazillian coffees from @dalliscoffee – gotta love this guy

12:46 these are unforgiving competitions…slight spill from mike dejesus at 14:30, unable to serve all 4 judges a sig drink – harsh.

Jordan Barber, Third Rail Coffee

12:59 hustles through a cd skip…no change in expression, no loss of focus…jordan barber of @thirdrailcoffee is the honey badger of

1:01 intentionally does not reveal his coffee during his routine

NERBC Day One!

There’s nothing like a sunny springlike Saturday in midtown (that ends in snow) to commemorate one of the busiest days of the year in coffee. Yesterday’s first round of the Northeast Regional Barista Competition at the Coffee and Tea Festival was a doozy! From 8am til 6pm, baristas and brewers teamed up—along with volunteers aplenty cleaning, helping, and making coffee on the “Fourth Machine”.

We were proud as punch to watch the six (!) NERBC competitors who used our coffee, from Rose-Emma Lunderman’s poised delivery to Justin Schulz’ leek centerpiece to Cara Vincente’s horchata infusion to Mike D’s stage debut to Tommy Green’s early morning Tequila Slammer. And did we mention Philip Search made ICE CREAM on stage, using ziploc bags of ice cubes and the touch of the master? We love this stuff. (Our Brewer’s Cup entrants, Bill McAllister and Teresa von Fuchs, nailed it as well—when they weren’t busy volunteering and judging, of course! When do these people sleep?)

Everyone in attendance (and there were A HUGE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE IN ATTENDANCE, to the point they had to take the chairs away) was blown away by the overall quality of all the competitors. Espresso NEAT’s Rachel Houghey pulled off her first competition like it was old hat; Counter Culture Coffee’s Katie Cargiulo dropped serious science, and Philly kids Charlie Biando and Brian Gelletley truly brought it. We’ll see many of these folks again in Portland, but the ones we’ll see today are as follows:

2012 NERBC Finals Schedule:

1. Jordan Barber, Third Rail Coffee, New York, New York

2. Park Brannen, Handsome Coffee Roasters, New York, New York

3. Brandon Duff, RBC, New York, New York

4. Katie Carguilo, Counter Culture Coffee, New York, New York

5. Brian Gelletly, Ultimo Coffee, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

6. Sam Lewontin, Everyman Espresso, New York, New York

Way to keep it in the city, New York! We’ve been at this for 99 years, but it’s nothing short of moving to have the team effort of this city’s amazing coffee community to cement us, indisputably, on the world map of great coffee. Wonderful job everybody and good luck today!

NERBC Competitor Times!

As we’ve mentioned once or twice in the past, the 2012 Northeast Regional Barista Competition is THIS WEEKEND, February 25 and 26 at 7W Studios, 7 West 34th Street, in New York City. We’re proud to host this event in the city we’ve roasted coffee in for nearly 100 years, and we’re even prouder of the eight talented baristas representing our coffee that registered to compete this year!

If you’d like to catch some of the action, either stop by the competition anytime Saturday from 8am-5pm or Sunday (finals!) from noon til 5. Those tuning in at home can watch a live stream here. Check out these guys if you get the chance—they have been working SO hard.

SATURDAY COMPETITION SCHEDULE (times subject to change)

Rose-Emma Lunderman (“Oh my god there’s so much in my head and I’m really high on espresso.”)
Root Hill Cafe
8:30am

Cara Vincente (“Dude, relax. Everything is gonna be awesome, okay? We can do this.”)
Think Coffee 9:12am

Tommy Green (“Mike dexter is a god. Mike dexter is a role model!”)
Tiny’s Giant
10:09am

Mike DeJesus (“Why did I decide to do this?!!?”)
Dallis Bros.
Coffee 12:03pm

Justin Schulz (“Now what happens?”)
Roberta’s
1:00pm

Philip Search (“It’s gonna be awesome.”)
Dallis Bros. Coffee
1:57 pm

And our two brilliant Brewer’s Cup competitors….

Teresa von Fuchs (“Jangly and weepy, sleep deprivation? Too much espresso? Or just so proud of all the hard work these folks brought and keep bringing.”)
Dallis Bros. Coffee
2:57pm

aaand….

Bill McAllister Dallis Bros. Coffee
3:05pm

See you there, coffee world!!

NERBC Barista Preview: Mike DeJesus

With the North East Regional Barista Championship coming up in a few short days, we’re offering a sneak peek into the activities at our training lab in Ozone Park (and basements in Long Island). As the city’s finest baristas gear up to compete for the title of best in the region, it’s time to practice, practice, and practice—with the occasional break to answer questions for our blog.

We finally pinned down our very own Mikey DeJesus to answer a few questions about competition!

Where do you work and how long have you been in coffee?

I have been in “da biz” for over 7 years. 5 as a service tech. Now over 2 years with Dallis Bros. coffee as a sales rep and service tech.

What made you decide to compete in the NERBC?

With everything going on I have been asking my self WHY did I decide to do this? I defy anyone to not want to compete after listening to World Barista Champ Gwilym Davies talk about competing. I decided to throw my hat into the ring to push myself to be a better barista. And have fun doing so.

What coffee did you choose to work with and why?

I chose two different microlots from Colombia: our Andino Especial and the Finca Monte Redonda Narino, along with and a Brazil, the #5 microlot, Catuai—from our farm, Nossa Senhora Aparecida. The reason I picked these coffees was because they played so well together.

What can you tell us about your signature drink?

I can tell you working on my sig bev has been harder then I thought. If I pull it off it will be delicious.

What’s your training regimen been like so far?

I practice every time I train the staff of my new accounts. But I did the most of my training in my basement cafe. There have been too many sleepless nights due to over caffienation.  That is where I worked on my blend, my timing and my idea for signature beverage.

Have you been to a competition before? What do you think is rad about it or what excites you about its role in the industry, or your role within the competition and within the greater community?

I went to the WBC in Atlanta a few years back and was shocked at the level the baristas’ skills. They were the rockstars of the coffee world to me at that time. I think these competitions are great because they help to push the industry forward.

Things like this and throwdowns help to show people that don’t know yet how great coffee can be.

March Factory Tour Announced!

Don’t want to say goodbye to the coffee excitement after the NERBC draws to a close? Join us for a tour of our coffee roasting factory and tasting room in Ozone Park, Queens!

Our coffee pros will lead the group through a few hours of local history, coffee roasting, coffee tasting (cupping), and a tour of our roasting plant.

Our next tour is Saturday, March 3rd, beginning at 1:00 and wrapping up at about 4:00. Space on the tour is limited so book now at orders@dallisbroscoffee.com.

Tours are $10, and due to the tasting component we ask that all participants show up perfume and cologne free. If you have any questions feel free to call our office during business hours, (718) 845-3010.

New York Coffee People Party! NERBC Edition!

NERBC Barista Preview: Cara Vincente

With the North East Regional Barista Competition coming up this Saturday and Sunday, we’re offering a sneak peek into the activities at our training lab in Ozone Park. As the city’s finest baristas gear up to compete for the title of best in the region, it’s time to practice, practice, and practice—with the occasional break to answer questions for our blog.

This week we’re chatting with competitor Cara Vincente from Think Coffee.

Where do you work and how long have you been in coffee?

I work at Think Coffee on Bleecker Street, and have been a barista for three years.

What made you decide to compete in the NERBC?

I want to compete for a lot of reasons: the street cred, the chance to meet other coffee people in the area, to learn more about espresso in general, and because it just seems like a fun thing to do.

What coffee did you choose to work with and why?

I am working with a single-origin espresso from El Salvador. We call it Himalaya, and it is roasted by Dallis.

What can you tell us about your signature drink?

The secret about my signature drink is that I have known what it is going to be since the summer time.  So I came into training for the competition with a flavor profile already in mind, and a theme. I first tasted the non-espresso parts of my signature drink at a Salvadoran restaurant in Brooklyn.

What’s your training regimen been like so far?

I have been training at the Dallis lab for 3-4 hours a week since November with some amazing people. I also train almost every day on my own at work.

Have you been to a competition before? What do you think is rad about it or what excites you about its role in the industry, or your role within the competition and within the greater community?

I have not competed before. In fact, I’ve never even been to those hip throwdowns everyone seems to love. I’m just excited to get out there and give it my best shot in front of the judges, have a good time, meet new friends, represent Think Coffee (and Dallis) with aplomb and hopefully learn something cool. I’m passionate about coffee, it has become a huge part of my life, in a way that I might never have expected. And with coffee in my heart now, and in the foreseeable future, I view the competition as a thing I need to do to move onward, ever onward…

NERBC For Dummies

The NERBC and Brewer’s Cup are just one week away, and we couldn’t be more excited as we make our last-minute plans. Before we get caught up in the thrill of roasting competition batches til 4:00 in the morning, though — we wanted to clear up any confusing details that may remain about the events themselves.

Q: Are the NERBC and Brewer’s Cup part of Coffee Fest?

A: No. The NERBC and Brewer’s Cup are hosted by Dallis Bros. Coffee in conjunction with a different festival with a similar name, The Coffee and Tea Festival, in Manhattan on February 25-26. Coffee Fest has shared floor space with competitions before, but Coffee Fest New York will be happening in March and is not affiliated.

Q: Does it cost to attend the NERBC and Brewer’s Cup?

A: No, but you need to plan your attendance in advance. You have three choices: choose wisely!

Choice 1
Attend only the NERBC and Brewer’s Cup on Saturday, Sunday, or both, by registering in advance. Filling out this quick form secures you a FREE entry into either day of the competition via official NERBC guest list. If you do NOT arrange this before Friday, February 24, you may have to pay at the door.

Choice 2
Attend The Coffee and Tea Festival, including the NERBC and Brewer’s Cup, at a discounted rate using this coupon. The Coffee and Tea Festival is a beverage trade show featuring several drink and gourmet food vendors, as well as the world premiere of Coffee: The Musical!

Choice 3
Do nothing, and pay full price at the door.

Q: Is there a party?

A: Yes! There is a party! Dallis Bros. is happy to have teamed up with our New York City coffee friends Cafe Grumpy, Gimme! Coffee, Third Rail Coffee, Joe, Everyman, and Ninth Street Espresso to host a barista party Saturday night at Re-Bar in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Stay tuned to this site (and their sites) for more information on how to be there, and not square.

Q: Will I be able to follow the competition at home?

A: Certainly! All regional barista competitions are streamed live courtesy of the SCAA and USBC on the US Barista Championship homepage (check in the day of the event), where you can follow along both NERBC and Brewer’s Cup action and join in via Facebook chat. Coffee’s most important news source, Sprudge.com, will also be providing up-to-the-moment competition info and tweet action to make sure absolutely everybody is covered.

NERBC Barista Preview: Justin Schulz

With the North East Regional Barista Championship coming up quickly, we’re offering a sneak peek into the activities at our training lab in Ozone Park. As the city’s finest baristas gear up to compete for the title of best in the region, it’s time to practice, practice, and practice—with the occasional break to answer questions for our blog.

Today we chat with Justin Schulz of Roberta’s.

Where do you work and how long have you been in coffee?

I am the head barista at Roberta’s in Brooklyn. I’ve only been a barista for two years but I’ve been making up for lost time attending conferences and reading all I can about coffee and the craft.

What made you decide to compete in the NERBC?

Competing in the NERBC is a great way to further my knowledge and skills in crafting espresso drinks. The competition brings the coffee community together to raise the bar for coffee professionals. I work in a unique restaurant with a lot of creative culinary people. I hope
to bring a different perspective than most competitors and take advantages of the resources at my disposal at Roberta’s.

What coffee did you choose to work with and why?
I’ve blended two lots from Octavio coffee’s farm in Brazil, Fazenda Nossa Senhora Aperecida. I was very excited that Dallis Bros had received fresh crop microlots from their farm. I’ve liked Brazilian
coffees as espresso in the past, and I knew I would be able to create a remarkable coffee experience in competition.

What can you tell us about your signature drink?
I am still constructing my signature drink, but I can say that it will grow organically out of what I love about this coffee.

What’s your training regimen been like so far?
I’ve been biking down to the Dallis roastery in Ozone Park, Queens once or twice a week for a few months to work with their roasters and trainers. At first we ran time trials and focused on the basics of competition. Now we have constructed our blends and are developing our routines. Having selected my coffees, I am going to show up early to Roberta’s every day to taste my coffee and practice my performance before the restaurant opens.

Have you been to a competition before? What do you think is rad about it or what excites you about its role in the industry, or your role within the competition and within the greater community?

I did get to check out the competition last year. It seemed very strange to me then, but I’ve gotten even more nerdy about coffee since. I’ve only been a barista for two years, and in that short
time, I’ve found more and more resources and information about the craft made available. The competition has a long history of bringing together the community to share our love of coffee. It’s a very exciting time to be competing.

Coffee and Tea Festival Admission Coupon!

As proud hosts of the 2012 NERBC and Brewer’s Cup, we’re offering this coupon to the Coffee and Tea Festival Feb 25 and 26th here in sunny New York City!

Presenting this coupon at the door gets you 50% off admission to the entire festival. Make a day of it!

Note that those who wish only to see the NERBC and Brewer’s Cup, but who do not wish to attend the festival itself, should register for complimentary entry via the guest list.

Save some entrance money and have more cash to tip your baristas with!
See you in a couple weeks!