On March 18th Dalton Rhone, one of baristas and educators, won us the title of America's Best Espresso at Coffee Fest Baltimore. The head to head competition pitted roasting companies against each other in a 'spro showdown. Each competitor had 10 minutes to serve three espressos to three judges. Based on a scoresheet of mouthfeel, body, and sessionability, the judges picked the more palatable drink to move on. After four rounds, with the final against Elixr of Philadelphia, we (well, Dalton) were able to secure the win.
Dalton used a coffee from the Cyato washing station in Nyamasheke, Rwanda. We bought this coffee a few months ago from Coffee Shrub, an importer based in Oakland, CA that we buy a few coffees from every year. This one was particularly lucky, as we claimed it pretty late in the game after going through last year's coffees faster than anticipated. This being the time of year where most of our coffees are harvesting and preparing to head to the states, we felt a little pressured to fill out our offerings menu. Tom and the Coffee Shrub crew came in clutch with two African coffees, one being from Cyato!
We feel lucky to have entered a competition with some great companies that we really respect. Events like this give us a great chance to share our coffee, and our mindset in producing it, to a wider audience. They also give us a chance to connect with old friends and meet new ones. At the end of the day, that's really the best part of this industry: the strong sense of community felt around the world!
There's not much of this special coffee left in the warehouse, so don't sleep on picking some up!