What a wild two days it has been thus far in Portland, host of the SCA Expo and with it the US Coffee Championships. Nearly 200 competitors have already competed on Friday and Saturday across six different disciplines: Barista Championship, Brewers Cup, Coffee in Good Spirits, Cup Tasters, Latte Art, and Roasters Championship. But that list has been heavily edited and we are now down to just the last 32, the six Finalists each for Barista, Brewers, CIGS, and Latte Art along with the eight for Cup Tasters Semi-Finalists (Roasters doesn’t have a Finals round).
We’ve been whipping all around the Oregon Convention Center, bouncing back and forth between stages to check out the many different varieties of coffee action that are taking place, and they have been serious. It’s been intense and fun and unexpected and thought-provoking and silly. There have been thrills and there have been spills. Moments have made us go awwww and moments that made us go huh!? It has been, in short, exactly what we’ve come to expect out of this level of competition.
And there’s still a little more to go. Now is the time for the Finalists to turns the screws on their routines just a little bit tighter. With just one more routine to go for each, there’s one last chance for these competitors to make their case for their respective crowns. It’s going to be big, so stay tuned.
Here are the Finalists for the 2023 US Coffee Championships!
Juan Diaz (he/him), KWC, Orlando, FL
Isaiah Sheese (he/him), Archetype Coffee, Omaha, NE
Reef Bessette (he/him), The Coffee Movement, San Francisco, CA
Frank La (he/him), Be Bright Coffee, Los Angeles, CA
Dakota Graff (he/him), Onyx Coffee Lab, Rogers, AR
Morgan Eckroth (she/they), Onyx Coffee Lab, Portland, OR
Jesus Iniquez (he/him), Archetype Coffee, Omaha, NE
Wenbo Yang (he/him), Independent, Vancouver, WA
Max Phills (they/them), Loveless Coffee, Brooklyn, NY
Daniel Teplitz (he/him), Klatch Coffee, Los Angeles, CA
Weihong Zhang (he/him), Blendin Coffee Lab, Houston, TX
Elika Liftee (he/him), Onyx Coffee Lab, Rogers, AR
Coffee in Good Spirits
Sam Schraeder (he/him), Olympia Coffee, Olympia, WA
Edwin Gorritz (he/him), Barista Squared, Orlando, FL
Linea True (she/her), Boxcar Coffee Roasters, Arvada, CO
Natasha Solowoniuk (she/her), Caffe Vita, Seattle, WA
Mo Koolphanich (she/her), Slipstream, DC, Arlington, VA
Kyle Hamlin (he/him), Jubala Coffee, Raleigh, NC
Cup Tasters (Semi-Finals)
Jake Donaghy (he/him), Olympia Coffee Roasting, Olympia, WA
Tom Bomford (he/him), Black Fox Coffee, New York, NY
Andy Sprenger (he/him), Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters, Lakewood, CO
Steve Cuevas (he/him), Black Oak Coffee Roasters, Ukiah, CA
Andrew Shelley (he/him), Brio Coffeeworks, Burlington, VT
Helen Choi (she/her), Luce Coffee Roasters, Houston, TX
Mehmet Sogan (he/him), Memli Coffee, San Diego, CA
Inwook Park (he/him), Fairwave Coffee Collective, Kansas City, KS
Wenbo Yang (he/him), Artly Coffee, Portland, OR
Julie Patadia (she/they), Coffee Project NY, New York, NY
Abdul Qader Dali (he/him), Dali Coffee, Arlington, VA
Truc Ngo (she/her), IO Coffea, Los Angeles, CA
Piyapat Lapteerawaut (he/him), Coffee Project NY, New York, NY
Camilo Sanchez Gomez (he/him), Nativus/Red House, Newark, NJ
Congratulations to all the Finalists!