November 8 - 10 2019 |Magic Box @ The Reef, LA.
  • Coffee Masters USA



Creativity, passion, skill, knowledge and personality – this is what makes a Coffee Master.


How it works


Coffee Masters™ is the fast-paced, multi-discipline global barista tournament which has taken place annually at The London and New York Coffee Festivals since 2015.

For 2019 we have some exciting news: the renowned Coffee Masters™ USA is moving from the East Coast to the West Coast! Are you ready to come cheer for your favorite 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: The Cupping, The Brewing, The 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 (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) and a Mahlkonig grinder. 

Special thanks to our sponsors: Slayer, Mahlkonig, Hario, Straus Family Creamery and Califia Farms.


The Disciplines

The Cupping

The Cupping tests the barista’s ability to understand taste profiles in a highly-competitive time-pressed battle.

Each competitor is presented with six coffees set in a particular order and the competitors have three minutes to taste and memorize the order in which those coffees are placed on the table.

The coffee bowls are then shuffled randomly and competitors have two minutes to taste and return the coffee bowls back to their original order.

The Brewing

The Brewing tests the barista’s ability to choose the right brewing method for a coffee.

The competitor will select one of the six coffees presented in The Cupping round to brew.

This discipline aims to assess the barista’s understanding of grinding (using an EK43) and their ability to select the right brewing method from a Chemex, Aeropress or V60 to maximize taste.

The competitors will be judged on the correlation between their choice of coffee and brewing method, their presentation and the taste of their coffee.

The Latte Art

The Latte Art tests the barista’s mastery of milk, challenging them to create specific patterns in milk-based drinks against the clock.

The judge will roll a dice three times, determining three different coffee patterns that competitors have to replicate and present to the judges.

The presented coffees will be judged on visual appearance of the pattern, milk quality and contrast.

The Order

A real world test. 

Baristas are challenged to deliver an order of 10 espresso-based drinks, common to a quality café menu.

Baristas will be presented with an order docket, which they will be challenged to produce in nine minutes or less.

The competitors will be judged on their technical skill, cleanliness and time.

The Signature Drink

A signature drink is a coffee based mixed beverage consisting of three or more ingredients, as long as they are safe and legal to use.

Baristas will need to replicate and present the same Signature Drink that they created for their online submission video.

The competitors will present three identical drinks to the judges and will be judged on taste, creativity, consistency and presentation.

The Espresso Blend

The ‘Espresso Blend’ discipline will only occur once contenders have reached the semi-finals.

Baristas will create an espresso blend from the coffees used in The Cupping.

The two finalists will then need to replicate their bespoke blend during the final.

The Origin

The Origin tests the barista’s ability to identify coffee origins by taste, in a highly competitive time-pressed battle. Each contender is presented with six coffees, and a table-top map of the world. The contender will have five minutes to taste the coffees and place them on the map in the correct geographical location from where they originate.

2019 Contenders 

Name: Blair Smith
Representing: Augie's Coffee, USA

Name: Carlos de la Torre
Representing: Cafe con Jiribilla
From: Mexico

Name: Casey Wilson
Representing: Boxcar Coffee Roasters
From: USA

Name: Christos Andrews
Representing: Ghost Note Coffee
From: USA

Name: Cole Torode
Representing: Forward Coffee
From: Canada

Name: Diana Johnston Ledezma
Representing: Dr Wakefield
From: UK

Name: Dylan Siemens
Representing: Onyx Coffee Lab
From: USA

Name: Elisabeth Johnson
Representing: Hagen Coffee Roasters
From: USA

Name: Emily Orendorff
Representing: Intelligentsia Coffee
From: USA

Name: Jenna Gotthelf
Representing: Counter Culture Coffee
From: USA

Name: Jimmy Dimitrov
Representing: Clifton Coffee
From: UK

Name: Malvina Segura
Representing: Cognoscenti Coffee
From: USA

Name: Reef Bessette
Representing: The Coffee Movement
From: USA

Name: Shinsaku Fukayama
Representing: St Ali
From: Australia

Name: Stephen Welch
Representing: Due South Coffee Roasters
From: USA

Name: Varvara Stukali
Representing: Coffeemania and L'Adresse
From: USA

Related Experiences

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