USBC FINALS

barista competitions, trade shows, jams, tastings

Postby Mark Prince on Wed May 09, 2007 2:25 pm

sarahdelilah wrote:Ben, good point about our (Ken's and mine/Barista Mag) live coverage of the Nordic Barista Cup (NBC). Just for your info, here's how it went down: the NBC Organization places high value on the availability of live information and photos throughout the event, as they realize not everyone can attend, and those around the world who would like to be involved on a virtual level want access. They actually contract me and Ken to attend the event -- we're there working for the NBC; our job for those days is to cover the event, and we both spend 10-12 hours solid doing this and only this. It's super smart of the NBC, as the sponsors love the fact that while they may only be reaching 200 people at the event in person, they are reaching countless others through the coverage. I really wish this kind of thing was a priority for the SCAA as well. Maybe someday.


Just want to say a complete Amen to the above.

sarahdelilah wrote:I'm sending a shout out to Mark Prince for his reporting work throughout the SCAA for the (how many years has it been now?) that he's been doing it. He's right -- it's a near impossible job, especially given the frustrating logistics that always seem to be in play, and he deserves props for what he is able to accomplish.


Thanks Sarah, I really appreciate that!

Also, it gives me a chance to say sorry for something. I'm reading my comments over a day later now, and yeah, I am being dismissive and whiny in my own way with them. I know what it's like to get live blogging - and I know how seriously cool it is. Today I had a discussion with my programmer and we're thinking about things we can do for next year that may make all a bit happier with live, as it happens coverage.

One thing I had built into CG, but we didn't use this year is the ability to email in a blog entry. I haven't used it for a couple of years now, and I should have. It's limited to sending one picture, one title, and the blog entry (with no ability to timestamp - the time of the email is the timestamp), but that is something we could have used, with our cell phones on the show floor - text msg the website. My doh! moment.

I guess I'm trying to say that I hear the complaints, and instead of being dismissive and defensive about the workload, next year, I'll try better, or maybe have something brand new for presenting trade show "up to the minute" reports.

Mark
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Postby scottlucey on Wed May 09, 2007 2:30 pm

James Hoffmann wrote:
scottlucey wrote:my photos are up


Thank you - they are great!


thank you james. you are a rocker of photos!
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Postby bz on Wed May 09, 2007 3:02 pm

lucey: those pics are the smizzack.

mark: awwww. kiss, kiss. hug, hug.

looks like between you, me, aldo and espresso parts we could be talkin' blanket coverage next year. which is why this was worth the debate.
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Postby Stephen Morrissey on Wed May 09, 2007 3:09 pm

So then, do we know if theres any live coverage planned for Tokyo??

Actually, who here is planning on going?


Also, well done to the competitors, dying to hear details of sig drinks and blends.
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Postby Dismas on Wed May 09, 2007 4:28 pm

Scott your photos rock mine suck but, you can see them anyway. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dismas/set ... 197888782/
I can't figure out how to use the damn camera in certain lighting and most of my pictures of the comp didn't come out.
By the way I had the middle machine. hmmm.
Actually I just sucked but, I had fun. I will be back next year. I just need to clone myself one for competition and being serious and one for going to the parties and socializing.
All I can say is that in the smack down my latte was better then Bronwens.
Glad to be here.
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Postby Matt Riddle on Wed May 09, 2007 5:34 pm

I'll be uploading the EJ Dawson/Matt Riddle/Intelly pics tomorrow.
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Postby sarahdelilah on Thu May 10, 2007 10:09 am

Stephen,

No plans for live coverage from Barista Mag at the WBC, I'm afraid. Ken will be in Tokyo reporting on it (and snapping snaps of the champ for the traditional WBC winner Barista Mag cover, of course).

But here's some really super news about this year's WBC and what those of us who won't be in attendance have to look forward to: Bruce Milletto of Bellissimo and the American Barista & Coffee School will be taking a film crew to cover it and produce an official WBC DVD! We have Doug Zell to thank for this.

How can it be that this hasn't happened already, as we're on the 8th WBC? Who knows, but I hope y'all are as stoked as I am that this kind of thing will be created and available for purchase.
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Postby sarahdelilah on Thu May 10, 2007 10:11 am

Oh, and one more thing: The June/July issue of Barista Mag will feature an article about the USBC finals sig drinks, penned by Klaus, complete with stellar photos!
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Postby Matt Milletto on Thu May 10, 2007 10:58 am

sarahdelilah wrote:Stephen,

But here's some really super news about this year's WBC and what those of us who won't be in attendance have to look forward to: Bruce Milletto of Bellissimo and the American Barista & Coffee School will be taking a film crew to cover it and produce an official WBC DVD! We have Doug Zell to thank for this.



Thanks Sarah, we are really excited about filming at the WBC Tokyo, and future WBC events. I will post more info soon about this project, but as for now we plan to produce a 2 DVD set for the WBC Tokyo.

The first DVD will be a ~45 minute WBC coverage, highlight, documentary about the competition for those who can't be there. Interviews, footage of ALL competitors and countries, etc.

The 2nd DVD will encompass the performances of all six finalists. Interviews, and voice overs of each talking about their preparation strategies, their sig drinks, competition in general, etc.

Thank you Doug Zell and Michelle Campbell for making this happen (and we will make sure it comes out in a timely manner, post competition :)

- Matt
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Postby Mark Prince on Thu May 10, 2007 11:15 am

sarahdelilah wrote:But here's some really super news about this year's WBC and what those of us who won't be in attendance have to look forward to: Bruce Milletto of Bellissimo and the American Barista & Coffee School will be taking a film crew to cover it and produce an official WBC DVD! We have Doug Zell to thank for this.

How can it be that this hasn't happened already, as we're on the 8th WBC? Who knows, but I hope y'all are as stoked as I am that this kind of thing will be created and available for purchase.


The WBC Japan thing is awesome news!

But I'd like to put something publicly out there that I already said to Matt M. before the trade show this year - the SCAA really needs to hand over their miles of digital video from past USBCs and the WBC (Seattle was HEAVILY filmed) to Bellisimo or some other company so they can cut and edit the footage into a best of for each year.

Matt indicated that, if some form of partial rights were shared, and revenues from the sale were also shared, it's a project Bellisimo would be interested in (I don't mean to speak for Matt here - maybe he can expand on it). Whether the .org wants to give up partial ownership of that tape in return for a polished product that not only can they sell, but *******use******* to promote the competitions, I guess time will tell.

(this all assumes the SCAA owns exclusive rights to the archival USBC footage).

Word on the street is, the SCAA found a volunteer to chop, edit, and mix last year's USBC after putting the call out for the volunteer. But word is it's also taking months and months so far, with no result.

Video editing is monstrous. It is something that requires a heavy investment in equipment, and a lot of time and expertise. While I fully praise the efforts of the unnamed volunteer for stepping up, these kinds of things really need to be a professional production. If the SCAA can't pay $20K, $30K, or more for a company to do it for them (and the SCAA retains rights), the other option is to give up partial rights and provide royalties / per unit profits to a production company in order for said company to recoup their cost, and have a personal investment in making a great product.

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Postby Klaus on Thu May 10, 2007 1:37 pm

I am so thrilled to hear about the video project! :D
Mark, you are so right about the USBC/WBC video coverage. I still cannot believe that the last thing put out is from Trieste 2004. I know many baristas use that video to get an idea about what the WBC is like and that video is OLD news. And I would have loved to actually have some video from Bern to remember it all when I get old and forgetful (some will say that's already happening...)

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Postby Stephen Morrissey on Thu May 10, 2007 2:21 pm

Thats great news Sarah. Tokyo will be amazing, can't wait.

Looking forward to meeting up with you this summer in Portland.

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Postby sarahdelilah on Thu May 10, 2007 2:23 pm

The Portland coffee posse looks forward to showing you, Jim and Anette a great time here, Steve!

And ummm, does anyone know who this "Klaus" guy is who has been posting recently?
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Postby Ryan Willbur on Thu May 10, 2007 5:33 pm

Stephen, we're more excited to see you here in LA! Let the revolution begin!!!!
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Postby onocoffee on Thu May 10, 2007 9:34 pm

sarahdelilah wrote: but I hope y'all are as stoked as I am that this kind of thing will be created and available for purchase.



I would actually be MORE STOKED if I could obtain videos of the 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 USBCs.


MarkP wrote:Word on the street is, the SCAA found a volunteer to chop, edit, and mix last year's USBC after putting the call out for the volunteer. But word is it's also taking months and months so far, with no result.

Video editing is monstrous. It is something that requires a heavy investment in equipment, and a lot of time and expertise. While I fully praise the efforts of the unnamed volunteer for stepping up, these kinds of things really need to be a professional production. If the SCAA can't pay $20K, $30K, or more for a company to do it for them (and the SCAA retains rights), the other option is to give up partial rights and provide royalties / per unit profits to a production company in order for said company to recoup their cost, and have a personal investment in making a great product.



Like commodity grade coffee, in the world of production values - you get what you pay for.

The SCAA needs to turn to professionals for this kind of production. I do recall an offer a couple years ago to do the entire production. It was ignored by the SCAA.




- he who can't say if he was on the set of Iron Man today.
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Postby cremaquest on Fri May 11, 2007 7:52 am

Ryan Willbur wrote:Stephen, we're more excited to see you here in LA! Let the revolution begin!!!!


Define "more excited" Willbur. Are you trying to start some LA vs. Portland rivalry???
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Postby roger on Fri May 11, 2007 10:14 am

Sorry for chiming in late on this thread. This post addresses the machine questions raised earlier in the thread

I think that many people were frustrated during the competition (barista and machine suppliers alike) regardless of the fact that the machine was not performing outside of the stated specification for the USBC (there is no stated spec for flow consistency). We entered a grey area and wanted to make sure that any benefit of the doubt went to the competitor. The most that anyone can do in this type of situation is to make a decision based on the best available information.

The facts as I experienced them are as follows:

On Thursday (I am pretty sure that it was Thursday, show days have a way of blending together) it was reported that the center machine had an issue with flow on one of the groups. I investigated and found that the center group was flowing noticeably slower that the left and right groups. I pulled the group cap off and found that the "gigleur" was occluded. I then pulled off the right group cap to have a "gigleur" to compare as I pulled apart other machines that we had at the show while looking for a replacment. We had one machine that was a static display machine so I pulled out both gigleurs in case one of them proved to not match the other two groups on the FB80 competition machine. After installing the replacement "gigleur" (and cutting the first group cap o-ring during reassembly, doh!) flow rates were much more similar but now the center group had a slightly higher flow rate. To test the flow rate I used Scace with the idea that it consisently approximates the flow rate with coffee minus the variables. With the Scace the groups relative to one another had less that 1/8 oz variation in flow over 20 seconds. It was decided that this was acceptable. People made many shots on the the machine after the repair and the machine was ready for use on Friday.

On Friday afternoon one of the competitors believed that there was a technical issue with the center machine again. This complaint was filed after they had competed. After talking with the competitor I more fully understood their complaint and could not argue that the flow rate difference may have made it more difficult to pull consistent shots. As a result I believe this competitor was granted a chance to compete again. From this point foward the center machine was not used in the remainder of the competition.

As a result of the above experience we will make some suggestions to the USBC committee on how to better handle this type of situation in the future and as an equipment supplier we will make sure that all machines (both competition and customer) have a consistent flow rate.

If Heather did indeed compete on the center machine I say it makes her all the more worthy of the title "Champion."
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Postby HB on Fri May 11, 2007 11:04 am

sarahdelilah wrote:Two discussions going on here -- I'm replying to the one re lack of coverage.

For what it's worth, I'm putting together a short summary of the finals here. They're not as detailed as last year's simply because (a) I had a horrible line of sight, and (b) the competitors injected a lot more detail about the coffee / preparation that were beyond my ability to live blog.

If Alistair doesn't mind, I'll happily cross-post the entire thread on coffeed when it's complete (I'm following up with each competitor to confirm the commentary is accurate and that will likely require another week).

The photos are thanks to Larry Picata, proud papa of 2nd place finisher Pete Picata.
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Postby Deferio on Fri May 11, 2007 4:02 pm

Wow, what a weekend!
I just want to say a big thank you to all of you guys. For your comraderie and the inspiration you've been to me as a barista. I have grown and learned so much from this awesome community. I am so excited to have gotten fourth place but even more than that I am proud to be associated with the likes of such world class professionals.
I am truely blessed.
thanks.
-Chris
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Postby Ryan Willbur on Fri May 11, 2007 4:26 pm

cremaquest wrote:
Ryan Willbur wrote:Stephen, we're more excited to see you here in LA! Let the revolution begin!!!!


Define "more excited" Willbur. Are you trying to start some LA vs. Portland rivalry???


Not such much a rivalry, Brent... But a revolution. One where LA is a main contender in the world of Specialty Coffee. (Add "I have a dream speech here...")
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Postby Mark Prince on Fri May 11, 2007 4:30 pm

Ryan Willbur wrote:Not such much a rivalry, Brent... But a revolution. One where LA is a main contender in the world of Specialty Coffee. (Add "I have a dream speech here...")


Poor Groundwork... often forgotten in the "LA is a coffee wasteland" talk - including by me.

Mark "who found out there are oasises (sp!) that exist in LA's coffee desert this show"
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Postby Chris Baca on Sat May 12, 2007 1:43 pm

some pics on the flickr...not as sexy as some but a few snip-its.
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Postby Marshall on Sat May 12, 2007 2:37 pm

MarkP wrote:Poor Groundwork... often forgotten in the "LA is a coffee wasteland" talk - including by me.

Mark "who found out there are oasises (sp!) that exist in LA's coffee desert this show"


How we spent our day (Saturday 5/12/07):

1. Morning Culinary Historians lecture at the L.A. Downtown Library by the author of a new book on the history of tea followed by tea samplings with discussions with a tea importer in the Library Courtyard.

2. Lunch at L.A. Pizza Co (goat cheese, mozzarella & mushroom pizza dripped with fresh-made pesto).

3. Coffee and tea at Groundwork - 2nd & Main. La Virginia (Colombia) for me and Keemun for Joan. Barista Amber Hudson then tried out her new specialty macchiato on me, which I liked quite a lot, despite the very unconventional ingredients.

Nice day in the "wasteland!" :D

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Postby onocoffee on Sat May 12, 2007 8:49 pm

HB wrote:The photos are thanks to Larry Picata, proud papa of 2nd place finisher Pete Picata.



Um, Dan...

It's actually "Licata," not "Picata."
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Postby Marshall on Wed May 16, 2007 3:04 pm

sarahdelilah wrote:Two discussions going on here -- I'm replying to the one re lack of coverage.

First of all, really, Marshall? There was good coverage of the show and USBC? Beg to differ. Grassroots efforts from baristas and retailers got a helluva lot more response from local media in Seattle and even Atlanta than we got in LBC.


I'm basing this on what people in L.A. who weren't at the show told me about seeing it on T.V. and hearing coverage on their radios.

You can't compare L.A. to Atlanta and Seattle for coverage. There is so much more going on in this metro area to compete for the press's attention, and coffee is a much smaller player in the local economy than it is in Seattle.

That being said, there is always more that can be done to generate press, and I hope to see more of it in the future.
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