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Minnesota Baristas Represent at the Big Central Regional Barista Competition and Brewers Cup


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Earlier this month, five top-notch baristas from Minnesota took center stage as they competed to brew flawless cups of coffee. They all traveled to Kansas City, Mo., where they knocked out some killer coffee drinks in the 2013 Big Central Regional Barista Competition and Brewers Cup (BCRBC).

Jon Ferguson, director of quality control at Minnesota's own Dogwood Coffee Company, landed his second consecutive North Central Brewers Cup win at the BCRBC. The Brewers Cup event is meant to recognize and celebrate the art of manual coffee brewing. Third-wave coffee junkies might be interested to hear that Ferguson made his winning cup with Dogwood’s La Esmeralda Geisha Special beans, grown in Boquete, Panama, and a simple Clever Coffee Dripper maker with a rinsed Melitta #4 paper cone filter. Here’s his method, generally speaking:

  • Sift 18 grams of grounded coffee.
  • Place grounds in the Clever Dripper coffee maker.
  • Pour 265 ml of 203 degree water over your grounds.
  • Stir at one minute.
  • After 1.5 minutes, start the draw down process by setting the Clever Dripper on your vessel (or mug), and allow the coffee to draw down.

And that’s the Ferguson method for producing an award-winning cup of coffee. Big ups to Ferguson, who will be competing at the Brewer’s Cup National Finals in Boston in April. Another congrats to third place winner, straight from Minnesota as well, Alex Johnson of Quixotic Coffee in St. Paul.

Josh Taves, wholesale sales & accounts management at Dogwood, was a 2013 Big Central Regional Barista Competition finalist, taking third place. The Barista Competition judges the skill of espresso beverage preparation and service. Barista competitors served up espresso, cappuccino, and a signature drink for the judges. Taves’ signature finalist drink sounds smashing—espresso, cacao, dark brown sugar, and olive oil infused with cascara (an herbal tea made with dried coffee berries).

Other Big Central Regional Barista Competition participants from Minnesota included Jordan Hubred, of the newly opened Parka in South Minneapolis, and Blair Bachman from Victory 44. Check out Bachman’s desert-worthy signature drink from the Barista competition: apple pie ice cream affogato, with nutmeg, cinnamon, brown butter, and streusel.

Whether you’re up for a snazzy signature coffee drink, or a perfectly brewed cup of black coffee, you’ve got killer options right here in the Twin Cities.

UPDATE: Apologies to Alex Johnson of Quixotic Coffee for the oversight of not being included in our first draft. We're proud to have another winning barista from Minnesota!

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