Randy and Craig at Eastern Regional Barista Competition

This past weekend, a small crew of Bridgehead baristas took a road trip to Victoriaville, Quebec to participate in the 2012 Eastern Regional Barista Competition.

This is an industry competition where each competitor makes a round of espresso; cappuccino and a third “signature” drink with espresso as the focus. This signature drink demonstrates creativity and exhibits synergy between the ingredients used and the espresso. This is all done in a 15 minute presentation that is judged by a panel of 4 sensory judges, 2 technical judges, and a head judge.

There were 7 competitors from as far as Saint John’s – and the presentations were fun, informative and professional.

I’m proud to say that we had two competitors participate: Randy Hogg from our Preston Roastery Coffeehouse, and Craig Macleod from our Beechwood location.

They both used a coffee that is currently in our espresso blend – Tesoro de conception from Huehuetenango in Guatemala. This is a special coffee from the CODECH co-op, which separates their lots by altitude at the subsidiary co-op level and keeps them separate through the supply chain, so we are able to taste different offerings based on the zone segregation. Tesoro is zone 6, which is the highest altitude coffee offered by CODECH.  This is a beautiful coffee that works well as espresso with some tweaking of the roast profile by our roaster, Cliff Hansen.

This is the first year in the history of Bridgehead’s participation in this competition that our own roasted coffee is being used.  The coffee is shipped to us by the importers we work with, stored in our green storage room, and roasted in our Probat G60. This new reality of roasting ourselves makes this year of competition very special for us. 

The hard work and hours of practicing paid off, with Craig placing 4th, and Randy taking the whole thing, making him 2 time consecutive Eastern Regional Barista Champion.

The video is archived of Randy’s Performance (Start the Video 32 Minutes in); though I believe unfortunately Craig’s video feed didn’t work. I invite you to watch the archived performances, and sit tight, because we get to do this all over again at our national competition in 3 weeks or so, in Toronto at the Canadian Coffee and Tea show. The winner of the national competition is Australia bound, as the World Barista Championship is held in Melbourne next year.

Thanks to everyone who helped by volunteering, or sitting in for practice runs in the training room at the back of our roastery, or by giving high fives and support in passing. It means a lot to the team that you are as excited we are.



Competition Team Bridgehead

Link to Randy’s performance –  http://livestre.am/44Nvx

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