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Coffee Fest Report or: How We Survived Day 3
It's been a heckuva weekend but, as Nelly Furtado once told me, all good things come to an end. Let's take a teary-eyed look at what happened on our last day at Coffee Fest Chicago.
Sunday morning heated up real fast with the latte art competition's Sweet Sixteen showdown. Twenty-five percent of these folks hailed from the Bluegrass State and, boy, did they give everyone else a run for their money! In the end, our friends Kenny Smith and Cabell Tice made it to the top four, going head to head for third place. Laughing and heckling up until the moment they poured, it was clear that these two were having too much fun. Kenny's pour was the judges' favorite, earning this Louisville legend a pile of cash and another title. Keep it up, Kenny!
Louisville continued to clean house at America's Best Espresso Competition. This contest challenges coffee roasters to strut their stuff in front of a rotating judge panel. Sending one representative barista, competitors choose between four espresso machines and two grinders as the means by which they serve espresso. Facing a killer lineup, our own Sunergos Coffee's Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Kochere — pulled through a Slayer — emerged as the best espresso in North America's central region. And over at the Best Coffeehouse Competition, our friends at Palace Coffee Company roped in a second place trophy. Bully!
The show closed down early but we stayed late to tear down; a good eat to bite was in order afterwards. Pizza-ed out, we met new pals Cole, Rob, and Sarah for Indian food. Between mouthfuls of naan and dal makhani, we enjoyed getting to know these folks and participating in the unavoidable coffee chatter.
And, like a bird, we flew away. Coffee Fest's final chapter was a fun one. For a full recap of Chicago happenings, check back later this week. There's a lot to share and a few surprises in store!