- File photo
- Story Coffee Company
At the Austin competition, each barista had to bring their own beans to prepare an espresso, a cappuccino and a signature drink. Lovett used beans from the Chania estate in Kenya. For her signature drink, she added a simple syrup made from dark brown sugar and fresh-cracked pepper, finishing with a spritz of oolong tea.
- File photo
- Loyal Coffee
“It was fun to play with this espresso because it had such distinct qualities,” she says, “but it was also such a challenge.” For the Seattle competition, she intends to use it and a unselected Latin American coffee, blending the two for her espresso, but letting the Latin lead on her milk drink and keeping it Kenyan in the signature round.
Hill brought a natural-process Panamanian Geisha coffee to Austin, mixing it with a star anise/chili flake simple syrup he’d infused with Earl Grey tea smoke via a cold smoker. For Seattle, Hill will be using a honey-processed Costa Rican Geisha bean. Honey processing is what happens when part of the coffee cherry is washed off, like a washed-process bean, and the honey-like inner layer is left to dry and fall off, like with a natural-process bean. He was still working on his signature beverage as of this writing.