2017 has been a great year for Novo! In April Erich, Melissa and I headed off to Austin, TX to participate in the Qualifying round of the US Coffee Championships. We returned victorious with Erich qualifying for the Brewers Cup National Championships and myself qualifying for the United States Barista Competition Championships!

Last week we headed out to Seattle, WA for the Global Coffee Expo where the USCC would be held. Erich had a great showing and missed the finals round of the Brewers Cup by less than 1 point, placing 7th overall. For the Barista Competition I brought the delicious Belekatu to serve to the judges and they loved it! I started ranked towards the bottom of the pack and ended up advancing through the first round, semi-finals round, and on to the top 6 finals round! I finished 6th overall in the United States after serving Belekatu on 3 separate occasions over the weekend, from an original pool of 120 competitors nationwide. This is the first time anyone representing Colorado has ever made it to the final round of the Barista Competition and it was a great way to showcase how great the coffee is here!

The first round was exciting with 24 qualified baristas duking it out for one of 6 spots to advance to the semi-finals round. I came out on top with the highest score of the day and secured my spot in the semi-finals for day 2! The Semi-Finals are where the competition got really tough. The top 12 qualified baristas from around the country were awarded a by in the first round and at this point were added back in for a total of 18 competitors on day 2. There were some amazing presentations and so much delicious coffee and at the end my name was called to advance to the final round! We were ecstatic as this secured my place and Novo’s as one of the top 6 Baristas in the United States and guaranteed us a trophy to take home. The finals round on Sunday was electric and the competition was the best it had been all weekend. Several hundred people from all over the world came out to watch the competition events for the day. I ended up placing 6th and was thrilled to have our hard work rewarded and our delicious coffee recognized at such a high level! All in all it was a great weekend with so much comradery and tasty coffee and I feel so proud to be a part of the Novo family!

This really was a team effort though and I couldn’t have done it without the team at Novo and the support of my wife and the great coffee from Ninety Plus. It was a lot of hard work over the last few months and I am so happy with the results!