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California's Specialty Coffee roasters offer tastings to coffee enthusiasts
Press release from SCAA, Date: March 21, 2008
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A unique opportunity to taste 15 specialty coffee roaster's espresso, cappuccino and single cup brewed coffee in one setting, prepared and served by top baristas

BERKELEY, Calif, USA (March 20, 2008) - Fifteen of California's best specialty coffee roasters will offer their finest coffees to attendees of the Specialty Coffee Association of America's (SCAA) Western Regional Barista Competition (WRBC) - hosted by Pacific Bay Coffee Co. & Micro-Roastery - on March 28-30 at the Gaia Arts Center in Berkeley, Calif.

"In the Specialty Coffee Association of America's effort to educate and inform the general public about specialty espresso and the role of the skilled barista, a "4th Machine" will be demonstrated during this weekend's Western Regional Barista Competition," said Kerry Laird, founder at Pacific Bay Coffee Co. & Micro-Roastery. "Our event participants will have a unique experience of enjoying many of the country's most unique specialty coffees in espressos, cappuccinos or custom signature drinks. In addition, the roaster's favorite single origin coffees will be served from one of the latest innovations, the Clover single cup brewer."

The 4th Machine complements the trio of other espresso machines that competitors will expertly handle during the competition. "The coffee sampling will be similar to a wine tasting hosted by winemakers," Laird added. "However this opportunity is truly unique because each roaster's coffee is being prepared by the region's best baristas and attendees can be assured they are getting the best cup available from each roaster. Where else can anyone participate in a comparative coffee tasting like this?"

Participating roasters include Barefoot Coffee Roasters (Santa Clara), Blue Bottle (Oakland & San Francisco), Caffe Calabria (San Diego), Coffee Klatch Roasting (Upland), Ecco Caffe (Santa Rosa), Equator Estate Coffees & Tea (San Rafael), Flying Goat Coffee (Healdsburg), Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea (Los Angeles), Moksha Coffee (Mtn. View), Moschetti Inc. (Vallejo), Mr. Espresso (Oakland), Pacific Bay Coffee Co. & Micro-Roastery (Berkeley & Walnut Creek), Ritual Coffee Roasters (San Francisco), Taylor Maid Farms Organic Coffee (Sebastopol), Verve Coffee Roasters (Santa Cruz) and Weaver's Coffee & Tea (San Francisco.)

All tips from the WRBC coffee tasting will benefit non-profit organization, Coffee Kids. Coffee Kids helps coffee farming communities in Latin America in creating education, health care, micro-credit, and community-based programs for coffee farmers and their families. These efforts allow coffee farmers to reduce their dependence on the volatile coffee market and to confront the most pressing community needs.

The WRBC is free and open to the public. More information can be found at www.wrbc2008.com.

The WRBC, which is hosted by Pacific Bay Coffee Co. & Micro-Roastery and sponsored by Monin Gourmet Syrups, Guittard Chocolate Co., Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea, and InterAmerican Coffee, will feature top baristas from California and Hawaii. Competitors prepare and serve four espresso, four cappuccino and four original signature drinks of their own creationžall in 15 minutes, to four sensory judges, while being rated by two technical judges. Scores are based on drink taste, presentation, technical skills and cleanliness. Current United States Barista Champion, Heather Perry of Coffee Klatch Roasting in San Dimas, Calif. has won the previous three WRBC events.

The mission of the SCAA's 10 regional barista competitions, including the WRBC, is to encourage and recognize the professional achievement in the art and skill of espresso preparation and service. SCAA's regional events culminate with the 2008 United Barista Championship on May 2 - 5 in Minneapolis, Minn. The event coincides with the SCAA's 20th Annual Conference & Exhibition.

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