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Reports From the Road
Canadian Coffee & Tea Expo 2010 Day 2
Author: Mark Prince
Posted: September 26, 2010
Article rating: 8.7
feedback: (12) comments | read | write
 
Cup Tasters' Championship Finals
Posted by Mark Prince, 1:55pm Permalink to this blog entry

There was definitely a lot of excitement at the finals for the Canadian Cup Tasters' Championship today. The crowd was packed and having a lot of fun. Because of a delay in the start (one of the finalists happened to be judging in the Barista Championship Finals so the organizers waited as long as possible for her to show up) Poul Mark decided to hold a 4 cup "open challenge" for the volunteers to try their hand at cup tasting to see how it was. During that open round, one volunteer got 4 out of 4 and another got 3 out of 4 - they should try out for the real competition next year!!

Eventually they had to start the finals round, so Amber Fox, the CNBC judge was disqualified because of her commitment over at the barista competition, and four competitors - Matthew Lee, Patrick Russell, Ben Cramm, and Steve Soupanthong - lined up to compete.

This round was much more difficult than the first one, with a lot of coffees mixed up to be closer to each other in cup taste. All the competitors took longer this time, including Russell, who blazed through his first round. Steve Soupanthong took the longest, at 7:57, and Matthew Lee took 7:52 to complete.

The results? Both Russell and Soupanthong guessed 6 out of 8 right - but Russell beat Soupanthong by about 2 minutes, making him the new Canadian Cup Taster's Champion, representing Second Cup Coffee. Quite impressive!

Soupanthong was second, Lee third, and Cram came in 4th in the finals. Poul Mark from Transcend was one of the main organizers and the emcee and did a great job overall (as well as his staff from Transcend). It was a great first year on Canadian soil for this competition. Pictures follow:

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Poul Mark
Mark did a great job as the chief organizer and emcee for this event, along with his support staff from Transcend Coffee out of Edmonton.
Matt Lee, Ben Cramm
Lee and Cramm before the finals.
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Open Round
During a public exhibition round, a person from Social Coffee Co got 4 out of 4!
Open Round
Another competitor during the open round.
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Getting Ready
Matt Lee and Steve Soupanthong getting ready for their final round.
Cups all Set Up
The cups are all set up, ready to go.
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Matt Lee Tasting
Lee changed his strategy from the first day, opting to slurp + smell the first pass through.
Deep In
Steve Soupanthang changed his strategy a bit too, this time going deep into the cupping bowls to smell first pass through.
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Ben Cramm, Patrick Russell
Cramm and Russell were plowing through their cups early on.
Patrick Russell
Russell, from Second Cup, had pretty much the same strategy in the finals, but took more time.
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Digging in
A LOT of the coffee was imbibed during the finals - a stark contrast to the first day of competition.
All four
All four digging into the cups.
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The Crowd
The crowd was packed, and spilled out quite a bit to the main show floor.
Cramm Checks
Ben Cramm checking his results. He got 3 out of 8 right, showing just how tough the finals was.
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Russell Checks
Russell ended up with 6 right, and a time of under 6 minutes.
Lee Checks
Matthew Lee checks his cups. He got 5 out of 8 right.
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Soupanthong Checks
Steve Soupanthong couldn't look at his cups to check - he left it up to Poul Mark to call them out. He got 6 out of 8, but in taking longer than Russell to complete, came in 2nd.
Pat Russell
Pat Russell interviewed by Poul Mark after winning the CTC!
Article rating: 8.7
Author: Mark Prince
Posted: September 26, 2010
feedback: (12) comments | read | write
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One of the more popular pieces of content on the CoffeeGeek website are the reports from major trade shows. We cover shows like no other media source does - giving first hand intimate and frank reports that give you the real scoop on what's going on, from a consumer and a coffee lover's true perspective.

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