Friday, June 26, 2009

DFW Barista Jam Video

Here is a little video Ashlind put together for the jam . . . Start the Fire.

Monday, June 22, 2009

And that's the rest of the story . . .

More details on the Dallas barista jam have been coming in (okay, I'm actually making them up as I go along . . . but now we have a bunch of people!). The locale is a local cafe called Urban Dog Cafe, and it's so secret of a barista jam that it's not even on their website yet. It'll be held on SUNDAY (very important, as this is not on a Saturday) June 28th at 6:30 pm, with the throwdown starting at 8 pm . . . but get their early as we have a few special guest speakers.

Danny and Sherri Johns, owners of Whole Cup Consulting and facilitators of the Ultimate Barista Challenge will share some of their vast wealth of coffee business knowledge garnered from over 20 years in the business. Rounding out the educational portion of the evening is two time United States Barista Champion Heather Perry, elucidating the audience on some of the finer points of barista technique followed by a demonstration of what it takes to be Heather Perry(insert smirk here).

The same rules will apply as if this were a Saturday Night Smackdown, save for the sign up time, which will start at 6:30 pm, and the cut off time, which will end at 8:00 pm. The theme pour will be determined on site by the panel of judges, and the buy in remains $10. For any other questions refer to the rules on the right, or email me at


Friday, June 19, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen . . . Start Your Engines!!

Something very exciting is happening in the State of Texas this month . . . Saturday Night Smackdown is being hosted in Dallas! That's right, we're taking this show on the road.

There will be a barista competition the last weekend in June, the Ultimate Barista Challenge, and we will be taking advantage of the opportunity to have everyone gathered around. The details are coming in slowly but surely, with two time USBC Champion Heather Perry making a guest appearance as our speaker, and some more surprises on the way . . . this is gonna be awesome.

I will keep you updated as more information presents itself, but for now, keep your weekend free for an awesome time in Dallas on June 28th.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Most Successful

This past weekend brought about the beginning and the end of the most awesome Smackdown to date. One great presentation from Mike McKim of Cuvee Coffee, three delicious coffees from El Salvador, Sixteen talented and passionate baristas, one empty keg, and loads of great pictures.

Mike's presentation on processing methods was elucidating and exciting, especially when paired with washed, pulp natural, and natural processed coffees to not only see and hear, but also taste the distinction. A silent and anticipatory crowd hung onto Mike's words and savored Jose Antonio's fine work. A big thanks to Mike for taking the time to pass on a little more information that will help us all become better baristas.

Not only did we have a great number of folks show up for the educational bit, but they even stuck around for the free beer and latte art throwdown. This event had baristas from as close as Once Over Coffee Bar and Thunderbird, to as far away as Colorado Springs. The word is getting out! A sizable contigent from Dallas - the White Rock boys again - as well as baristas from Quacks 43rd Street Bakery, Clementine, unaffiliated (or over-affiliated in Tyler Wells case), and a fair number of coffee lovers made this event so much fun.

Thanks to everyone who showed up, thanks to everyone who competed, and thanks to everyone who helped me put this on. The Smackdowns are a success because of your participation. Just like the coffee world, we wouldn't be here if not for the baristas who are willing to put in the time and energy to grow their craft.

And now for the winners . . .
in no particular order the top six were . . .

Nathan Shelton from White Rock Coffee

Tyler Wells from all over the place

Ryan Van Eck of Caffe Medici

Deanna Durgis of Caffe Medici

Daniel Austin Reed of Caffe Medici

and the cash money went to ....

Jenna White of Caffe Medici!