Allegria Espresso Bar

Day 5 – Seattle / Day 3 – NWRBC
November 12, 2007, 1:06 am
Filed under: Competition, Seattle


The Finals


In competing order: Billy Wilson from The Albina Press, Maki Campbell from Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea Co, Jordan Barber from the Wandering Goat, Philip Search from 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters, Orme Kellett from Lava Java, and Kevin Fuller from The Albina Press.

Billy Wilson seemed spot on. Using Stumptown’s Hairbender beans, there were no major mistakes and his shots were timed well. He chose to pull his espressos first, which he again filled the portafilter, tamped (no leveling), then set aside to “rest.” This, he said, was to preserve the cream. In the espresso, he said there was milk chocolate, citrus, and dry fruit notes. A note on the no leveling technique: according to Billy, Philip Search discovered that when using the Anfim grinders and if dosed properly, there was no need to level the espresso before tamping. Seems like quite the advancement if true. Billy’s cappuccinos were table poured and made from Sunshine dairy’s whole milk. The signature drink, of which the most surprising ingredient is blue cheese, still looked very interesting. I caught more of its description today. A creme en glaze was combined with honey and a bit of blue cheese to form the second of two spoons. The first spoon was filled espresso, chocolate, and allspice. The inspiration for this drink was a chocolate tort served alongside a blue cheese ice cream Billy once tried. Time was called at 15:00.


My camera has a great zoom. If I could only hold it steady enough for it to focus.

Maki Campbell from Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea Co. competed well. Well-rehearsed. She used Zoka’s Paladino espresso blend that was a “harmony of taste” between chocolate, sugar, floral notes, and mint. Maki made her espresso’s first after that description followed by her cappuccinos, which were said to be “condensed richness, like melted ice cream.” Each cappuccino was given a clean heart on top. The signature drink, Onix, composed of espresso, cinnamon, nutmeg, black soy bean syrup with salt, and heavy whipping cream, looked quite delicious. Overall, Maki’s shots were good, but with a few second variations.

Jordan Barber from the Wandering Goat followed. An overall theme of apples pervaded his routine. Apples and coffee, he said, share similarities in that each variety produces distinct flavors and experiences. He began his presentation with a little signature drink preperation by combining apple cider, cinnamon, and vanilla. Like Jordan’s predecessors, he pulled his espressos first. A 3-bean blend of Guatemalan Huehuetanango, Ethiopian Harrar, and a Sumatran. He described each bean’s characteristics in detail, using up over 3 minutes of his routine. The espresso was said to taste like an “orange creamsicle” with a “buttery, fresh caramel” finish. A signature drink titled “Forbidden con Panna” was served to the judges. The apple cider mixture was added to cream and whipped. Chocolate and caramel were added to the bottom of his cups, espresso pulled directly over that, and the apple cream topped the drink. Jordan described the drink as practical and something he planned on using in the cafe. Jordan’s first few espresso pours were fine, but he had one go over the 30 second mark (31). He finished two seconds under time. 

Philip Search of 49th Parallel Coffee Roaster went Americana with his routine. Bluegrass music, jeans, and whiskey prevailed. Of course, alcohol isn’t permitted as an ingredient, and thus, Philip used much of the character of whiskey (wild sugars) to capture its essence in his signature drink. Philip was another competitor that took advantage of the Anfim’s “no level” possibilities. After all, he was the one that apparently discovered it. Philip pulled his espressos first, encouraging the judges to swirl the espresso as much of the sweetness was at the bottom of the cup. His signature drink was created in several parts. He rimmed his glasses with sugar, added ice, a cold coffee concentrate, carmelized muscovado sugar and lime that was muddled together in ice previously, and than pouring espresso over that. It looked good and Andrew Barnett drank half of his, so it couldn’t have been horrid. Intriguing at the least. His shots were a bit inconsistent, but he finished under time so that was good.


Phillip Search


Phillip preparing signature drinks at the judge’s table.

Orme Kellett from Lava Java in Ridgefield, OR competed next. He appeared quite comfortable with competition and knowledgeable about his coffee, Stumptown’s Hairbender. Unfortunately, his shots weren’t pulled within reasonable times, and that hurt him. Otherwise, though, his did very well. Pulling his espressos first, then his cappuccinos, he seemed in control at all times, finishing at 15:00. His signature, Goldfinch, looked great. Egg inspired, it was composed of mango juiced right on stage, honey, sesame seeds, and cream.


Orme Kellett                 


Orme’s signature drink with a hallowed out egg on top.

The final competitor was Kevin Fuller of The Albina Press. Out of all the competitors, he was the only one to make his cappuccinos first. Does that matter? Maybe. Shots were pulled well, in time, and with relative ease. His signature drink was “ironic for a million different reasons.” It was essentially a caramel macchiato. Fresh-squeezed tangerine and homemade caramel were placed on the bottom of the cups with espresso pulled over top. He then added steamed whole milk. Andrew Barnett, a sensory judge, must have liked it as he drank it all in two swallows, giving Brent Fortune, the Head Judge, an “oh well, it was too good to leave any for you” look when he came over to try it.


Kevin Fuller introducing himself as he pours water for the judges.

After watching the day’s finalists compete, I suspected the Billy, Maki, and Kevin were the top three, actually in that order, Billy winning for the second year in a row. And that was how it turned out after all the scores were tallied.


Billy Wilson – 2007 Northwest Regional Barista Champion.


Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: