Sunday, October 22, 2006

NWRBC Finals

Well, the results are in and the competition has ended. The finals were tough. I, personally, do not like any situation where 4 of my favorite baristas are up and only one can win... or almost worse, only 3 of the 4 will be recognized with a prize. As you all have probably heard, Billy Wilson is the new reigning Northwest Regional Barista Champion. Jon Lewis, one of the best men I know, not only as a barista but as a human being and father, took second, and Kevin Fuller, owner of the Albina Press took third. Kyle Larson, whose attitude towards coffee I greatly admire, was another finalist, as were the two girls from Zoka...

Billy and I were talking before the announcement and he kept worrying about placing and felt like he had made some mistakes... and this is the point I make then and now... Two years ago, Billy was one of the best baristas I knew. He had passion, drive, and much skill. But he kept competing and making it into the finals to only have his signature drinks shot down for lack of creativity... mainly cause they sucked. Now, with time and maturity, Billy is the best American barista I know... He's taken his weakness (a lack of signature drink) and become a food scientist. So, with this, I say congratulations Billy Wilson. I'm proud to have my roots in the same place you do. I admire anyone who can target their weakness and work hard to over-come it.

I am so tired right now it's kinda crazy. Tonight is the Bikes to Rwanda benefit show. Lots of fun there. Oh, and I leave everyone with this... The first round was kind of rediculous... Kevin Fuller actually had the highest score and it was his first run through in competition ever. Billy was #2... Ryan Dixon, also a first timer, finished 7th tieing with Lorrie from Trabant. Congrats Kevin... top score, 2nd anniversary, great party... sounds like a decent weekend to me...


Fred said...

Thanks for posting this. I couldn't make it to the finals today and appreciate your speedy reporting.

Phil Proteau said...

Thanks for the reporting, I appreciate your efforts and travel.

I just found your page yesterday and I am glad to see your contributions to blog world.

Just about a month ago Tim Hill, a roaster at Counter Culture, was helping me to blend an espresso for use in competition. My palette guided us to a strong, spicey, and big upfront flavor that he said might be a little too bold for some tates. Gee Barber, an other roaster there said,

"All I can say is, Hairbender never won a competition".

So now we have it. Lip smacking, tooth staining, cow tipping flavor wins. That seals it for me, no holding back for next year.