Putting Another NERBC to Bed!
It took months in the making, months in the rescheduling, and—somehow it was still all over so very fast. In our three years hosting the Northeast Regional Barista Competition here in New York City, this year’s was easily the most complex and emotional: the original event, scheduled to take place in Atlantic City, NJ the first week of November, was literally washed out due to Hurricane Sandy.
For months we worked with the SCAA and others to reschedule this important regional—the Northeast now comprises thirteen states of coffee talent!—and ran into waterlogged difficulty after difficulty, trying to find a place to host this important event that wasn’t literally, or figuratively, waterlogged by the storm’s effects.
We can’t say enough about how moving it was to finally bring the event together in our own borough of Queens. Baristas from thirteen states, who had trained for the months leading up to the originally scheduled NERBC and Brewer’s Cup, put their trays back together, found new, in-season coffees, and re-rehearsed their routines, ultimately coming together for two tough contests in one tough region.
We’d like to thank all the volunteers and sponsors for their tireless commitment to getting this event off the ground, as well as our wonderful media sponsors Sprudge, whose up-to-the-minute digital coverage at @SprudgeLive filled in the gaps for anyone who couldn’t get to Long Island City or tune into the feed at the time. (Plus, those guys are hilarious.)
We’d also like to thank Respond & Rebuild, whose efforts in rehabilitating the affected areas after the storm hasve truly inspired us. We, along with Mable’s Smokehouse, donated a portion of our NERBC party tab to this kindhearted organization. We thank them for their hard work in these hard times.
Finally, we want to thank all who came out to support the coffee community, from competitors and coaches to fans and friends. We’d like to extend the deepest congratulations to our champions, Northeast Regional Barista Champion Sam Lewontin from the wonderful Everyman Espresso, and Northeast Regional Brewer’s Cup Champion (two-peating!) Jordan Barber from Intelligentsia Coffee—soon to join us with a cafe here in New York City. Barista competition finalists Brian Gelletly (Ultimo Coffee), Mike Morgenstern (Joe Coffee), Tamara Vigil (Irving Farm Coffee Roasters), Jordan Barber and our very own superhero roaster Anne Cooper also knocked our socks off. In the Brewer’s Cup, we were also super-proud of our Joe Drazenovic, along with Tamara Vigil, Erin McCarthy (Counter Culture Coffee), Amanda Whitt (Everyman Espresso) and Andrew Blumhagen (Sweetleaf).
In a city this resilient, in a region this strong…it’s cheesy to say it, but it’s true: each and every one of us at Dallis Bros. felt like winners last week. We can’t wait to see you all at the USBC!