2016 US Coffee Championship Qualifier - Kansas City


We're here in Kansas City for the 2016 SCAA US Coffee Championship Qualifiers. Some of the best coffee in the world is being represented here this week, and we are honored to be a part of it all. Our Head Barista Daniel Shoup and Head Trainer AJ Willett are representing Ferris this week with their impeccable beards and delicious coffee. We've met some amazing people in the industry, and connected with some old friends. It's only Wednesday, and we've already had a week full of excitement as the USCC Qualifiers are well under way. Dan wrapped up his portion of the competition in the Brewer's Cup qualifier today, and did a stand up job of representing our team.

Dan's competition coffee comes from a family owned farm in Costa Rica called Finca Leoncio. When Manuel Antonio Barrantes Zuñiga told us he had the 1st place Cup of Excellence coffee in Costa Rica, we were excited to try it. The farm, named after Don Antonio's grandfather, has been part of his family for years. It has truly been an honor to be representing his family here in Kansas City this week. The coffee had the perfect balance of acidity and a full body, with notes of grapefruit, stone fruit, toffee, caramel, and warming spices like cinnamon.

Even though the months of preparation seemingly came to an end after a short ten minute presentation in front of the judges, this coffee experience has made a lasting impact for Dan. As he put it, "the ultimate goal was to go out and represent Ferris well, and to represent Don Antonio’s farm and coffee with pride." No matter the outcome of the competition, we think he did just that.

"So many people were part of this process to get me here this week", recalled Dan. "People like Sam Mirto and Nick Van Slett were crucial to this entire process. Without their help, this wouldn’t have been possible."

You can follow along with the rest of the competition online here. AJ competes in the Barista Competition on Friday at 3:20pm EST. We'll be updating everyone with Dan and AJ's results later this week. For now, join us in wishing them both luck in Kansas City as we finish out the week and anxiously wait for the final results!