Last weekend, Austin hosted the regional qualifiers for the SCA United States Coffee Championships. Little City team members Eric Wolf and Emily Jackson both had the opportunity to compete in the local event.
Eric, Little City's production manager, competed in the roasting competition. A few weeks prior to the event we received sixty-five pounds of a Kenyan coffee from Genuine Origin. After an initial round of sample roasting, our entire team cupped the coffee. Overall the team enjoyed the coffee, identifying notes of strawberry, orange and dried cocoa.
To get to his two pound submissions Eric roasted two 25 pound roasts on our Probat L-12, using different roast curves for each batch. Eric spent late nights at our roasting facility hand sorting pounds of roasted coffee aided by some motivational beverages from our neighbors at South Austin Brewery.
At the event, Eric presented his coffee to a panel of judges. Though he didn't qualify for nationals, his coffee sample scored in the top half for tasting score.
Our Director of Coffee, Emily Jackson, played two roles at the Coffee Champs event. In addition to competing in the Cup Tasters Championship qualifier, Emily judged the Barista Championship qualifier. Having competed in Barista Championships from 2004 to 2012, this was Emily's first time participating as a judge. During the event, Emily evaluated the espresso drinks and presentations of some of the best baristas from across the country.
In the Cup Tasters competition, Emily was pitted against coffee importers, green buyers and other coffee professionals with fine-tuned palates. During the six minute event, competitors were tasked with identifying the odd cup in a group of three. While Emily did identify two of the irregular cups, she did not select enough to advance to the finals in Seattle.
Overall, it was awesome to have a regional coffee competition of this caliber in our neighborhood. It was great see our city play host to our friends and colleagues throughout the coffee industry.