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Mill City Roasters Expanding its ‘Focus on the Roast’ Competition

Focus on the Roast mill city

Mill City Roasters image

Following a successful inaugural event in 2015, Minneapolis-based Mill City Roasters is this year expanding its Focus on the Roast competition, hoping to encourage collaboration and the exchange of ideas among home roasters and commercial roasters alike.

While the 77 possible spots for last year’s competition sold out in less than two weeks, Mill City said it has made accommodations for some 225 competitors this year.

Roasters wishing to enter the competition will need $55 plus shipping costs for five 2-pound samples of green coffee that will be used in the first round, which has the theme “Name the Origin.” Roasters will be asked to identify from which origin each of the five coffees came, out of nine possible options. The seven roasters with the highest-scoring answers will move on to the final round, for which they will be sent five pounds of green coffee, with the origin identified, that will be roasted and judged by a panel led by Joe Marrocco of the competition’s coffee supplier and sponsor, Cafe Imports.

Other sponsors of the event include Prima Coffee Equipment, Baratza, and Byrd & Belle, and the top five winning roasters will win a number of prizes, including a first-place prize of a North 500g Sample Roaster. While Mill City is a seller of roasters manufactured by North and Coffee-Tech, along with a number of other roasting accessories and green coffee, the company stresses that the event is open to competitors using any brand of roasting machines.

“It’s all good fun and a great educational experience in roasting and cupping.” Mill City’s Steve Green told Daily Coffee News, adding that the event last year was an attempt to demonstrate how the Mill City machines stacked up against other brands. With a variety of roasting machines in its line ranging from capacities of 500g to 15k, Mill City says they hope the competitions will inspire collaboration as much as competition among established and aspiring roasters.

“Our hope for you is this becomes an opportunity to be part of the community and exchange ideas, as ‘in a multitude of counsel there is wisdom,'” the company said in an announcement of the second annual Focus on the Roast. “We hope documenting your results and impressions will help demystify an entirely new group of coffee roasting fanatics.”

For registration information, the full list of prizes and an event timeline, visit the Focus on the Roast homepage.