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Winners From the Fourth Annual Cascadia Roaster’s Competition

Jen Hurd and Cassy Gleason

Genuine Origin’s Jen Hurd (left) along with Buckman Coffee Factory’s Joey Gleason. Photo by Max Mckenzie.

The fourth annual Cascadia Roaster’s Competition went down last weekend at Buckman Coffee Factory in the micro-roaster mecca of Portland, Oregon.

No fewer than 50 roasters vied for top honors in two categories — Judges’ Selection and People’s Choice — after shelling out $85 to get their hands on the compulsory competition coffee, which was later revealed to be the Honduras Guama Danta Reserve supplied by importer and competition co-sponsor Genuine Origin.

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Emma Nolley from Upper Left Roasters, Donovan McNeely from Cropster and Joey Gleason. Photo by Max Mckenzie.

Competitors were given the option of roasting the coffee on their own equipment or using the array of machines in Buckman’s co-roasting facility. Judges selected their winners prior to the event, while all guests on the big day were given an opportunity to vote for their favorites among the 25 finalist coffees.

Roast magazine was proud to yet again co-host the event, which was supported by co-sponsors Cropster, Genuine Origin, GrainPro, Monin, Pacific Foods and Wilbur Curtis. The top three finishers in each category received prizes courtesy of Aeropress, Baratza, Espresso Supply, Monin and Toddy, along with shiny medals and bragging rights to last a lifetime.

coffee merch

Photo by Max Mckenzie.

Without further ado, here are the winners of the 2019 Cascadia Roaster’s Competition:

Judge’s Selection

  1. Andrew Hume, Autumn Coffee Roasting (Portland)
  2. Spencer Aidukaitis, Peixoto Coffee Roasters (Chandler, Arizona)
  3. Brian Clemens, Relevant Coffee (Vancouver, Washington)
  4. Thomas Chandler, Black Oak Coffee Roasters (Ukiah, California)
  5. *tie* Emily Smith, Novus Coffee Imports (Seattle) & James Helms, Rocky Butte Coffee Roasters (Portland)

People’s Choice

  1. Jeremy Moore, Bonlife Coffee (Cleveland, Tennessee)
  2. Kevin Smith, Beansmith Roasting (Portland)
  3. Andrew Hume, Autumn Coffee Roasting
  4. Steve Cuevas, Black Oak Coffee Roasters
  5. Spencer Aidukaitis, Peixoto Coffee

Beansmith Roasting’s Kevin Smith, who roasts at Buckman Coffee Factory, said that after last year’s competition he received some sage advice from a fellow roaster at the shared roasting facility to trust his palette. This year, he did just that, and with better results.

Said Smith, “The people at Buckman are incredible, and it’s impactful to have a community of much more seasoned roasters than myself to learn from and help me develop my skills so I can take that and apply it to my business.”

[Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the name Peixoto Coffee. An earlier version contained a misspelling of the company name.]

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