How it works
Coffee Masters is the fast-paced, multi-discipline global barista tournament taking place annually at The London and New York Coffee Festivals.
We kick off the new year with big news: the renowned Coffee Masters USA competition is moving from the East Coast to the West Coast! Are you ready to come cheer for your favourite barista at the Los Angeles Coffee Festival?
Judged by a panel of industry figureheads, the fast-paced knockout battle format of Coffee Masters will see 16 baristas showcase their skills head-to-head across a broad range of disciplines: Cupping, Brewing, Latte Art, The Order and The Signature Drink, with The Espresso Blend being included for those who successfully make it to the Coffee Masters semi-finals.
Last year, Costa Rican barista Remy Molina won Coffee Masters - New York, walking away with $5,000, a prize package worth $15,000 from Slayer Espresso and a Mahlkonig grinder (including an all-expenses paid trip to Seattle in 2019 with Slayer, a tour of the Slayer factory, lunch with founder Jason Prefontaine and a Slayer Espresso Single Group and grinder to take home).
Eager to find it who will be crowned Coffee Masters USA 2019? In the meantime, take a look at last year's judges line-up and get inspired by the cocktails prepared by the 16 contenders.
last year's JUDGES
ANNE LUNELL - HEAD JUDGE
Swedish Barista and Brewers champion and the visionary behind Koppi, Anne is an internationally respected and well-loved coffee roaster from Sweden. Having been Head Judge of Coffee Masters - New York and London since their inception, there's no one more up to scratch on what it takes to be a Coffee Masters champion.
Michelle Johnson has been in the coffee industry for seven years, moving from barista, manager, and competitor to coffee writer, public speaker, and thought leader. She created The Chocolate Barista and currently works as the Marketing & Community Director at Barista Hustle in Melbourne, Australia.
New York native Kris is co-founder of Five Elephant Coffee Roastery & Cake Shop in Berlin. He works there as CEO and Green Buyer, focusing on ethical and responsible practices and direct sourcing of quality coffee.
Tymika fell into coffee rather accidentally eight years ago as a barista, and never looked back. Since then she’s been a cafe manager for Stumptown, a trainer,and wholesale account manager and educator for Counter Culture Coffee. Currently in green coffee sales for Genuine Origin, Tymika is just as passionate about people as she is about coffee. She currently serves on the SCA’s ED&I task force, and Sprudge’s inaugural advisory board.
David’s Cape Town based cafe, Truth Coffee, has been named the best in the world by countless newspapers. He believes in results, individuality and playing on people’s strengths. The one thing he hates? Excuses.
And the MCs
The 2016 USBC Champion and co-owner of Back Alley and Black & White Coffee Roasters Lem Butler is joining the impressive line-up of MCs for the fifth time. A leading American barista in his own right, he’s won the Southeast Regional Barista Competition no fewer than five times.
Erika Vonie is a veteran of the specialty coffee industry and reigning Coffee Master - New York. Recently appointed Director of Coffee at Trade, her near decade-long experience will come in handy in her first stint as MC.
Jordan co-founded one of the most important coffee news sites in the world, Sprudge.com, in 2009. Now a network of over seventy writers around the world, Sprudge covers the latest and greatest in coffee.