Well it is that time of year again, and we could be more excited. I love competition time. It forces roasters and baristas to step up their skills in anticipation of competing against the best this industry has to offer. Fratello along with, Transcend Coffee and Phil & Sebastian have formed a new alliance called “The Prairie Coffee Project“.
The Prairie Coffee Project is a movement, a hope, and a passion to create a better understanding and appreciation of truly fine coffee. It is a group of specialty coffee roasters and cafés across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba who put aside differences and competition in order to promote the art and craft of roasting and serving exceptional coffee. It is an ongoing discussion and collaboration of the techniques, tools and processes for making remarkable coffee. It is a place for coffee enthusiasts to learn more about all aspects of coffee, and to be inspired by and connect with the professional coffee community. It is one more step on the journey toward better coffee.
One of the main activities of the Prairie Coffee Project is hosting an annual barista competition and coffee symposium. The Prairies Regional Barista Competition is an event where professional baristas have 15 minutes to prepare 12 coffee beverages and give a presentation to a panel of sensory and technical judges. The performances are evaluated on taste, technical merit and creativity. The top scoring baristas advance to the Canadian National Barista Competition. To see photo’s from last years competition click HERE.Coffee enthusiasts of any kind, both professional and “home baristas” are welcome to attend this event held on August 6th at Fratello Coffee Roasters. Admission is FREE and you will have the opportunity through out the day to sample coffees made from baristas/cafes from around Calgary along with complimentary food/snacks. To top it off, Alley Burger (of Charcut) will be cooking their famous hamburgers to purchase from 11:30-3:00. So make sure you come and cheer on your favourite baristas from your favourite cafes!
The Coffee Symposium, a new event for 2011, is presented along with the Prairie Regional Barista Competition. It is a series of hands-on workshops and classes to teach coffee drinkers how to brew better coffee at home, how to taste and evaluate coffee, and how to better understand and experience the joys of complex, nuanced coffee.
Other events such as barista jams, coffee tastings, brewing courses and other gatherings will be planned throughout the year. And the discussion and conversation around great coffee will continue online.