We’re through the first week of the 2023 Ultimate Coffee Bracket Challenge, and this is where things start to get serious. Through the first two rounds, the One and Two seeds haven’t faced much of a challenge—save for an early round scare for Avocado Toast from a try-hard mid-major Day-Old Pastry—but that all changes now that we have reached the Sweet 16. Brackets are about to be busted in a big way.
The Coffee Cocktail and Coffee Drinks have been all chalk up to this point, with seeds One through Four all advancing to the Sweet 16. (I really thought #8 Cascara and #7 Carajillo had real upset potential against #1 Espresso Martini and #2 Irish Coffee, respectively, but alas.) If that chalk trend in these regions is going to come to a close in this round, expect the Three Seeds—White Russian and Cappuccino, respectively—to make the breakthrough(s). Spanish Coffee and Cortado just don’t have the juice to take down Espresso Martini and Espresso.
In the Brew Methods region, there was some level of intrigue, with what some would consider a few minor upsets. #9 Siphon beating #8 Ibrik is a bit more of a surprising defeat than the seeding would indicate. But the big winner thus far in the regions has to be the Six Seed AeroPress, who was able to break through and pull off the upset over #3 French Press. French Press may have been a bit of a paper tiger this year, whose high seeding is perhaps more due to the program’s legacy than their performance this year. Even still, the Brew Methods region appears to be heading for yet another rematch between powerhouses v60 and Chemex.
In the Cafe Food region, though, that’s where things have been getting interesting. #12 Breakfast Tacos has been tearing through their section, taking down Five Seed Korvapuusti before felling #4 Bagel. Breakfast Tacos now faces its biggest challenge to date, the One Seed, Avocado Toast. If there’s a One Seed to lose in this round, Avocado Toast appears to be the most vulnerable. The winner will then have to face off against either #6 Cream Cheese Danish or #7 Croissant, who has been on a tear of their own. Smart money says it’s going to be Avocado Toast versus Croissant, but I have a feeling Breakfast Tacos is going to crash the party.
We’ll know soon enough, as the Sweet 16 of the 2023 Ultimate Coffee Bracket Challenge gets going later today. To play along and cast your votes, head over to the Sprudge Instagram, where we will be putting up polls for each of the Sweet 16 games in our Stories.