Samuel Lewontin of Everyman Espresso in Manhattan’s East Village on Friday was named the Northeast Regional Barista Champion, after three days of competition in Long Island. For the win, Lewontin used a coffee from Mpemba Washing Station in Burundi.
“It’s an incredibly complex coffee, but it also presents a huge risk. Coffees from Rwanda and Burundi and Uganda are subject to defect called potato, and there’s no way to get rid of it. So the coffee is amazing, but it comes with about a 3 percent chance that I will pull a shot that is undrinkable. So I’m essentially smell-checking every dose before I use it,” Lewontin told the New York Times Blog before the event.
Lewontin joins the growing list of regional competition winners, including Devin Chapman (Northwest, Coava Coffee Roasters), Lemuel Butler (Southeast, Counter Culture), Charlie Habegger (North Central, Intelligentsia), and Pete Licata (South Central, Parisi Artisan Coffee), that will attend Cafe Imports’ Origin Trip 2013 in Kenya.
Produced by the SCAA and the Barista Guild of America, the United States Barista Championship is scheduled for April 11-14 in Boston, in conjunction with the annual SCAA Event and Symposium. Leading up to the event, the Southwest Regional Barista Competition is scheduled for March 15-17 in Santa Cruz, Calif.
For more on Lewontin’s routine in New York, see the coverage from Sprudge.