MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Who needs deer hunting when you can get your hands on a cup of joe? That’s exactly what baristas from Minnesota all the down to Texas are banking on this weekend as the Big Central Coffee Competition makes its way to Minneapolis.
This three-day competition isn’t just about coffee. Forty-six baristas are set to participate in the Barista Competition, while 26 coffee professionals are getting ready for Brews Cup competition.
The two regional winners (North Central and South Central) of the Barista Competition will join Café Imports in Colombia next year on an a trip with the other regional event winners, the U.S. Barista Champion and the World Barista Champion.
So what does this coffee competition entail? There is a competition stage set up at Uppercut Gym in northeast Minneapolis. The routines run 15 minutes long. Baristas will serve up three different rounds of beverages: espresso, cappuccinos and a signature beverage. It is a chance for them to showcase their coffee and their creative sides.
If the competitive edge isn’t what you are looking for, there will be lots of activities for attendees to participate in. Those include pop-up shops by Red Wing Shoes — the Roseville store will be giving away one $100 gift certificate each day — Leather Works MN and The Foundry Home Goods.
There will also be a photo booth and a bouncy boxing gym complete with giant foam gloves. Foxy Falafel will have their food truck parked outside.
But perhaps the biggest draw: free coffee! Roasters from across the country will be set up at the BGA Café serving espresso drinks, plus manually brewed coffee at the Brew Bar.
You can even meet Laila Ghambari, the current US Barista Champion.
The event runs from 8:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.