Western Regional Pre Gaming…

Preparation for the coming WRBC has been well under way for a bit now. It’s 2:14 AM, and I’m just about to hit the hay before I get up at 7:30 to head in to practice before my bar shift at noon. Tonight, I finally obtained ALL of my wares and did a full run through… something many competitors never even get to do before the event… I’m excited for the coming weekend. The camaraderie alone will be well worth the trip, as I feel life has been too focused on numbers lately, and not nearly enough about the coffee, and those who love it.

The week is going to be rigorous… and that’s okay. I’m not complaining. It’s just amazing how much we’re about to cram into the next few days. The pinnacle of it all will be when Devin and I open the cafe on Thursday, leave from there at 1PM, and arrive in Berkeley at some, hopefully, somewhat lit, hour…  I’m yet to know what time I compete on Friday, but I know I am up that day.

My goals going into this event are simple… The main objective is to simply do my best… Sounds cheesy, and feels so… but here’s the catch. In the past I could have written this off as a bit of practice and a flame to put under myself for the USBC in May… However, the catch is that Intelligentsia has 11 or 12 people interested in competing in the USBC. The rules allow every company to enter 2 competitors… What spots are available after that are divided between the other companies on the waiting list. The part that makes this difficult, is that I share the same banner with a serious handful of real tough competitors… from the reigning Great Lakes Barista Champion, Mike Phillips, to the well-experienced Amber Sather… Then there’s the local crowd in LA… Both Kyle Glanville and Nick Griffith… Of course, there’s Devin, who’s getting better with every practice session… In other words, I hope to see all of you in May… However, if I do, it won’t have been an easy feat.

Other goals are also kind of obvious… I would love to beat my score from the Southwest Regional in Las Vegas. I know that the judges were very generous and even coming close to the score I obtained will be a challenge. I also have a couple terrible habits that keep popping up in practice, and I’d love to see those die the moment I hit that start button.

It’s going to be a great weekend in Berkeley. We’re not traveling alone either… Our good friends, Dustin and Eve are tagging along… Monica is coming with me… and some of our regulars, Jon and Kistren will be there as well. So, we’ll have some LA based fans to help us rock the house…  To those who will be there… Let’s do this! To those who will remain distant… I’m sorry. Oh, and the especially sad part is that since we’re all heading north, Marcus Boni will be at the store making sure it survives without us… So no late night karaoke!

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