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Alaska Coffee Industry’s Most Significant Event

Baristas from All Coffee Companies in Alaska Compete for ABC Title


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Alaska's best baristas will face off in front of three judges.

ANCHORAGE – This Saturday, February 10, 2018, baristas representing several Alaskan coffee companies will gather under one roof to compete for the Alaska Barista Cup. The Alaska Barista Cup is the most significant event supporting the coffee industry and coffee culture in Alaska.
The Alaska Barista Cup will feature two events. The main event will challenge baristas’ latte art skills. Contestants will be judged on unique design pour, flavor, and presentation. One barista will be crowned 2018 Alaska Barista Cup Champion after the main event. First place champion will receive $500 cash, $250 for second and $125 for third place. Admission is free. Registration for the main event is full and closed with 28 competitors prepared to compete. The second event will be the coffee tasting competition. This challenge will test the tasters’ ability to distinguish different coffee flavors and characteristics. Finalists are also required to successfully identify five matching coffees from a table of 8 coffees. The winner of this event will receive a camping Brew Kit with coffee ($225 value). This event is open to the public to observe and compete.
“It is our goal to recognize and promote the skills and talents of individual baristas who serve the community every morning” said Jared Mockli, Black Cup general manager.
An impartial panel of judges will evaluate contestants. Two of the judges are renowned coffee industry professionals who have judged world-class barista competitions and are flying up to Alaska for the event. Here is a little more about the judges:
 
1. Julia O’Malley is a freelance writer and co-leads ONA Alaska. A third-generation Alaskan, is an independent journalist, teacher and blogger who lives in Anchorage. She writes about Alaska’s politics, culture, environment and food. (https://journalists.org/2017/08/30/meet-ona-local-julia-omalley/)
 
2. Ryan Willbur is a coffee professional based in Seattle, Washington. Ryan’s coffee career started when he became a barista in Los Angeles, California. Ryan works as a regional account rep for La Marzocco, an Italian espresso equipment company popular here in Alaska. He’s been a judge at the world Barista Championships for the past 5 years.
 
3. Kristen Hjelm hails from Portland, Or is a Regional Account manager with Bunn-O-Matic & former judge of the National Barista Championships.
 
Event organizer and Kaladi marketing director Seth Stetson said, “It’s going to be a full-house. We’re excited about a friendly competition amongst baristas representing the Alaska coffee industry regardless of the coffee house they work at.”
 
When: Saturday, February 10 6pm-10pm
Where: 49th State Brewing Company 717 W 3rd Ave.
 
Photo-op: Video, still photography and interviews.
 
Event Registration Page: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=ptnkebuab&oeidk=a07ef0m0hftd7985a1f
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Event Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Alaska-Barista-Cup-524781304352094/
 
Admission and participation is free.
Alaska’s coffee history began with Café del Mundo (now Black Cup) in 1975 at the time when Starbucks had only three coffee shops. The coffee industry has grown to the point where Alaska has been recognized as the second most caffeinated state in the country with top rankings for number of coffee shops per capita, and amount of coffee consumed per capita
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