2013 Southwest Regional Barista Competition

The top of the Rittenhouse in Santa Cruz, CA exploded with applause and enthusiasm as this year’s Southwest Regional Barista and Brewers Cup Competitions opened. Thirty competitors accepted the challenge and did their best to out-perform fellow baristas to be honored as the “#1 Barista of the Southwest region”.




This was my first experience at a Barista competition, and I was simply amazed! Why? You ask. The answer is simple, PASSION. I have never seen such a passion for coffee as these competitors and attendees demonstrated. 


On multiple occasions I was fortunate enough to enjoy a meal with young entrepreneurs and listen to their stories.  All were familiar with the minutest detail of coffee productions. One aficionado told of his journey to “origin” and connecting with coffee farmers. Another discussed his roasting business and his desire to find the best bean; while another discussed the problems and issues they face when transporting coffee to various locations. As they related their stories, I could tell this was not a “hobby” for them. They live and breathe the “coffee business” and if you ask any one of them, they will confirm it.


This passion is very inspiring to experience.  It was visible throughout the entire event, not only from the competitors but the attendees as well.  Though I’m back in central Illinois and away from the beauty and warm weather of Southern California, I’d like to think that I’ve brought a little of that passion and attitude back home with me.  I look forward to another opportunity to observe an event like this, until then, I will hold on to the lasting impression this passion has made on me.  Enjoy some of my images from the event by viewing our Flickr Album  


Congrats to all the winners! 

SWRBC WINNERS: 

  • 1st Place - Eden-Marie Abramowicz of Intelligentsia Coffee in Los Angeles
  • 2nd Place - Charles Babinski of G&B Coffee in Los Angeles 
  • 3rd Place - Kevin Bohlin of Saint Frank Coffee in San Francisco 

Brewers Cup WINNERS: 

  • 1st Place -  Charles Babinski of G&B Coffee in Los Angeles 
  • 2nd PLace - Tommy Kim of Cafe Dulce of Los Angeles
  • 3rd PLace -  Albert Que of Hearth Coffee Roasters in San Francisco

As always, BUNN is proud to be a sponsor of the Brewers Cup Competition.

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