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Scenes from the Second Cascadia Cup Roasting Competition in Portland

Jen Hurd from Genuine Origin addressing the crowd. Photo by Connie Blumhardt/Roast Magazine.

Inspiring a feeling reminiscent of the earliest Roasters Guild Retreats, the Cascadia Cup Roasting Competition took place last weekend in Portland, Oregon, with champions crowned in People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice categories.

Photo by Connie Blumhardt/Roast Magazine.

Roast magazine joined event host Buckman Coffee Factory and co-sponsors Genuine Origin and Curtis at Buckman’s Portland headquarters for the second annual event. A modest $60 entry fee gave 45 roasters access to 25 pounds of competition coffee. Competitors had the option of roasting on their own equipment or on one of Buckman’s numerous machines within the facility’s roasting room.

Photo by Connie Blumhardt/Roast Magazine.

Five judges and the approximately 150 guests tasted all 25 of the finalist coffees in five separate tasting rounds, after which two names surfaced to the top honors: Mitch Montgomery of Relevant Coffee in Vancouver, Washington, was named Judges’ Choice champion; and Justin Kagan from Portland’s Badbeard’s Microroastery took the People’s Choice.

Jen Hurd (left) from Genuine Origin and Cole Werfelman from Elevator Café and Commons talking about the level of roast for the competition coffee. Photo by Connie Blumhardt/Roast Magazine.

“The Cascadia Cup seemed like a good platform. I liked the mystery coffee right away,” Kagan said. “I did a couple lighter roasts to tweak, ended up with a nice sweet spot and citrus notes on the third batch, comparable to other Colombians I’ve handled for years. I’m pretty sure the competition roast will be in my retail profile.”

The judges: Erica Escalante (The Arrow Coffeehouse), Liz Chai (independent coffee designer), Angel Medina (Smalltime roasters/kiosko coffeehouse), Katie Gilmer-Pon (La Minita Coffee), and Justin Goergen (Caffe Umbria). Photo by Connie Blumhardt/Roast Magazine.

Here are all of the finalists in both categories:


  1. Mitch Montgomery – Relevant Coffee
  2. Ian Williams – Deadstock Coffee
  3. Gareth Welker – Water Avenue Coffee


  1. Justin Kagan – Badbeard
  2. Okon Udosenata – Equiano Coffee
  3. Cole Werfelman – Elevator Coffee


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