TOPEKA – Topeka's own PT's Coffee Roasting Co. will be hosting an international specialty coffee event at it's company headquarters and local cafe during the last weekend of October. The first annual Flatlanders Barista Cup will be held from Friday, October 26th through Sunday, the 28th and will feature visiting coffee producers from Guatemala and El Salvador as well as the winner of the 2011 World Barista Championship. Thirty baristas from around the country will compete in the Cup, which will be open to the public.
“We're really excited. We believe Topeka and our surrounding communities have the same love and interest for specialty coffee as the coasts, and it's time to bring the show to the midwest,” said Steven Seitz of Customer Service.
“Our producers are our family, the relationship is that close. The same goes for our customers, both local and national. We wanted to create this opportunity to introduce them to each other, to show them why it is that we love what we do so much,” said Jeff Taylor, Owner of PT's Coffee.
“The Flatlanders Barista Cup highlights the best parts of specialty coffee. It shines the spotlight on the producers, giving them the attention that they deserve as well as challenging the baristas to be proactive in the roasting and blending process. And, of course, the finished product is incredibly important. You absolutely must respect the coffee, all of the work that went into it from seed to cup, and that is what we are doing here,” said Robin Seitz, Customer Service / Training.
“We've put together a really well-rounded event. I think it's going to be a lot of fun for the competitors as well as for the general public. There's going to be live music, and we're even going to welcome the public to try their hand at an open latte art competition. It's going to be educational for sure, but it's also going to be one really big party,” said Autumn Eaken, Customer Service / Event Coordinator.
The Flatlanders Barista Cup will be a team competition event with 30 baristas divided into six teams. It will kick off with a gathering the evening of Friday, October 26th at PT's Coffee Roasting Co. - Home of Flying Monkey Espresso, located at 17th and Washburn. 2011 WBC Champion Alejandro Mendez and 2011 WBC Runner-Up Pete Licata will be special guest baristas behind the bar.
Presentations will be given on Saturday at PT's Coffee headquarters, located in the Forbes Field Industrial Park, by Lucia Ortiz from Finca Las Mercedes, Sergio Ticas from Finca Los Planes in El Salvador, Juan Diego de la Cerda from Finca El Socorro in Guatemala, and Federico Bolanos, trainer of five World Barista Champion semi-finalists and the 2011 WBC Champion.
The Saturday Night Live Barista Throwdown will take place at 7pm at the cafe. It will be followed by a second latte art competition, open to the public with a $5 buy in, and live music. On Sunday, the teams will cup and blend their own espresso, featuring the coffees from the farms of the producers attending the event.
Each team's final presentation will include preparing an espresso and a cappuccino for each member of the judging panel, as well as a short oral essay about the composition of their blend. The winning team will receive a trophy at the awards ceremony.
All of these events are open to the public and PT's Coffee will provide home brewing classes and tours of it's roasting facility on Saturday, October 27th.