Competitive coffee making: yes, it exists, and it's serious business. There's music and costumes and endless discussion of the notes.
Yes, it's a bit pretentious and silly (albeit delicious), but Portland isn't exactly killing it in bigger sporting leagues at the moment, so we'll celebrate a victory where we can get it, and making coffee is something this town does really, really well.
So this weekend saw a number of Portland's top baristas head up to Tacoma, Wa., to flex their tamping muscles at the region's premier coffee making competition, the three-day North West Regional Barista Competition and Brewers Cup, sweeping the former and taking first place in the latter.
Remarkably, Coava Coffee's Devin Chapman took first place in both competitions—hailed by some as a competition first, though in fairness, this is only the second year the Brewers Cup has taken place.
Portland scored all six spots in the finals of the espresso-focused Barista Competition—second place went to Stumptown's Laila Ghambari, and third to Barista's Tyler Stevens, while reigning champ Sam Purvis from Coava, Barista's Marty Lopes and Sterling's Colin Schneider made up the rest of the final six.
In the Brewers Cup (which, yes, is all about brewing coffee), Chapman beat out four competitors from Olympia Coffee Roasting, with Portland's Chad Bledsoe from Seven Virtues Coffee (using Portland's Nossa Familia beans) taking sixth place. You may remember that Chapman also took first place in last year's inaugural Brewers Cup.
Please note that Seattle was unrepresented in any of the finals. We're just saying.
Chapman will now represent the North West at the United States Barista Championships and Brewers Cup, which just happen to be taking place in Portland this year, April 18-19.