I should really be sleeping right now… Marcus is in town right now, and earlier discussion has my mind turning on some things… Things regarding barista events, USBC, WBC, ETC. Many posts on Coffeed are doing the usual discussion of what can be changed to make things better for future… blah, blah, blah…

I’ve got my thoughts and ideas, and I really don’t feel like posting them out in a forum for everyone to shred… these are my thoughts and ideas… take em for what they’re worth…

If you read regularly here, you’ve heard my thoughts on the competition judges. I would like to amplify those thoughts, and even go as to explain my view on who a judge should be. A judge should be tenured. Not someone who wants to be involved, but not commit to the competition. This jump right into judging attitude needs to stop. The judges should, for the most part, be retired competitors. People who know the game from the inside. Judges should be excellent cuppers, people with an experienced pallet… and at the USBC or WBC, someone who has judged before.

The other thing I believe is there’s really not a lot of reason left to not take the USBC structure further and make the regions step one… Make sure everyone and their momma has a chance to participate in a regional… but only take the top 6 or so from each region to the USBC. This will allow for more consistency in quality and excellence within the ‘main event.’

We need to educate more at the regional level. The NWRBC season opened with the “pre-game warmup.” Go Miletto & Co. for working with people to communicate what a competition should look like… I feel like a regional should be a 3 step process. A) is the pregame… explain rules, explain drinks, etc. Communicate what needs to happen in a presentation. B) Would be the competition itself. and C) would be a jam to wrap up the process… a jam with competitors score sheets… not just Q&A with the judges, but a chance to see what it looks like done right, and a chance to do it right yourself…

These ideas require more commitment, but I feel like it keeps regionals a little more local. Builds community and education between baristas. It also gives grounds for people like Ryan Denhardt, Joe Raines, Bronwen, Aaron Duckworth, Ellie H&M, and Matt Riddle a chance to pass on what they know from experience to those trying to carry on a competitive legacy.

I want a fourth machine… even/especially at the USBC. Show floor or none… we know from experience most floor shots are shit… Put competitors, their blends, and their personalities on the fourth machine. Keep it free. Keep it real.

A not so bad idea would be more public cuppings at regionals. It happened at the NWRBC and should happen everywhere… Think about it. You’ve got 20 competitors all telling everyone what is in their blends. On a local level… Roasters could provide the individual coffees competitors are using in their blends. So, when Robin Seitz is telling the audience about his Yellow Bourbon, Jeff Taylor has the stuff back on the cupping table for everyone to come get a taste…

Alright, I’m getting off of my optimistic, dreamer soap box and getting myself to bed…


2 thoughts on “Idealisms

  1. I love the idea of taking only the top finishers in the regionals to compete in the USBC. But, are you allowing the performance or the barista into the USBC.
    What I mean is, does the barista HAVE to use the same performance?
    What if Tatiana were to give a stellar performance at a regional and then give the stripper themed performance at the USBC?

  2. Well, Nick, I say the barista. Heather NEEDS to change a lot in how she carries herself into the worlds to do well, and I feel that could be the case further more from level to level. Which, yes, creates the risk of someone trying to “cause controversy,” but it also allows everyone to improve and step up.

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