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!