- On February 2, 2018
This will be our 2nd year entering the US Coffee Championships for Barista and Roasting. These competitions are what help push us to become better coffee professionals, which in turn benefits our customers and wholesale partners back home. Not only do we elevate as professionals in our field, but competing also allows us to take awesome road trips as a team! These trips are proving to be one of the best ways for us to build camaraderie and our culture at Vigilante Coffee. Knowing we have many road trip adventures ahead, we decided to invest in a 1991 VW Vanagon, and we’re breaking our new (old) ride in as we head to the Competition in New Orleans.
This year, our head Roaster, Franklin Vetura, will compete in the Roasters Competition. In 2017, Franklin was my coach, and together we took 5th place in the National Competition. The Roasters Competition consists of The Specialty Coffee Association mailing all the competing roasters the same exact coffee. Each competitor must roast the coffee to the best of their ability and then at the competition they must present this coffee to 4 judges, all of whom are volunteers and pedigreed coffee professionals. Franklin will have 5 minutes to describe how he impacted and improved the taste of the coffee.
Diane Contreras, our Director of Training is competing in the Barista competition. For this competition, each barista chooses their own coffee to work with and will have to present this as an espresso and a custom beverage to a panel of four judges all the while maintaining cleanliness and professionalism throughout the 10 minute performance. Diane has selected our best coffee of 2018, a Red Gesha from our direct source farm partner Maurico Shattah’s, Finca La Negrita. Diane worked with Franklin, our head roaster, to develop a specific roast profile that would make this coffee shine best when extracted as an espresso. In addition, Diane has worked tirelessly to create a custom beverage inspired by the Michelada of Mexico using guava ice cubes and the espresso she handcrafted.
In the end, one of the most important reason we compete is to honor and showcase the best people within our company who are consistently raising the bar to deliver stellar, world-class experiences, alongside the best cup of coffee. These members of the Vigilante team have worked hard to earn the opportunity to compete in the national competition and we are proud and grateful that they have chosen to compete on behalf of our company. Thanks for taking a moment to read about our journey!
Onward & Upward,