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Pittsburgh Barista impresses event judges while earning spot in United States Barista Championship, May 2-5, 2008 in Minneapolis
Washington, D.C. USA - Feb. 25, 2008 - Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) judges discovered what Aldo Coffee Co. patrons have known for quite awhile, Belle Battista prepares and serves a great cup of coffee. The Pittsburgh barista delivered an award-winning performance while outperforming 24 of the area’s top baristas at SCAA’s 2008 Mid-Atlantic Regional Barista Competition – hosted by murky coffee – in Washington, D.C. during the Coffee Fest trade show. SCAA is the world’s largest coffee trade association with members in more than 40 countries and event host, murky coffee is an established café with two Washington, D.C.-area locations.
Anne Boatner – from murky coffee – and Jeremy Sterner, a barista at Caffe Pronto in Annapolis, Md. were runners-up at the region’s hottest annual coffee competition. Aside from earning the distinction of the Mid-Atlantic’s top barista, Battista now qualifies for the semi-final round of the 2008 United States Barista Championship, which is held at SCAA’s 20th Annual Conference & Exhibition, May 2-5 in Minneapolis. Event host, murky coffee will provide for her USBC travel and lodging expenses.
“My nerves were my biggest obstacle in the winning the event,” Battista said. “I knew that I had the skills and experience to win, but anything can happen especially when you feel a little added pressure from yourself.”
Her signature drink, sipa de Espana, which means sip of Spain in Spanish, especially wowed event judges. According to Battista, the drink’s ingredients reflect Spain’s four primary foods: chocolate, espresso, olive oil and bread and was inspired from a Catalan recipe created during World War II. She noted that the recipe was developed at that time due to a need to ration such luxury items as chocolate.
The event included premier baristas throughout Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. Competitors prepared and served 12 coffee concoctions – four espressos, four cappuccinos and four original signature drinks in 15 minutes.
Seven SCAA-certified judges critiqued the event participants on taste, beverage presentation, technical skills, station cleanliness and total impression. SCAA’s mission for the MARBC and its other nine regional barista competitions taking place throughout the country is to establish a forum to recognize and encourage the art and skill associated with the barista profession.
Katie Carguilo from murky coffee won last year’s MARBC and went on to represent the region at the 2007 USBC.
About the SCAA
Celebrating 26 years of success, SCAA is the world's largest coffee trade association. SCAA members are located in more than 40 countries and represent every segment of the specialty coffee industry, from coffee growers to coffee roasters and retailers. The SCAA's mission is to be the recognized authority on specialty coffee, providing a common forum for the development and promotion of coffee excellence and sustainability. The SCAA's dedication to excellence in coffee is realized through the setting of quality standards for the industry; conducting research on coffee, equipment and perfection of craft; and providing education, training, resources and business services for members. The SCAA's annual conference is held in a different U.S. city each year and is the coffee industry's largest gathering and exhibition.