Well, last week was a great week for Detour.
Last spring our roaster Geoff came back from the SCAA conference in Houston very inspired and told us that he decided to compete in the Central Canadian Barista Competition. The competition was held July 5th and 6th at the St. Lawrence Market North building in Toronto and we also setup a booth at the show.
The first day of the competition consisted of 18 competitors running their routines and the top 6 advancing to the finals the following day. Geoff was up against a crew of very talented baristi, from the most respected espresso bars and cafes in the region. Geoff spent one day a week over the course of the last 6 weeks training with Momiji Kishi, of Dark Horse Espresso Bar, who was the winner of last years' regional competition. If you read our blog last year Geoff also roasted Momi's wining coffee, a natural process coffee from Costa Rica.
The hard work leading up to his performance paid off and he won by a mere 10 points, in front of Sameer Mohamed of Farenheit. In 3rd place Tyler Mastantuo from Te Aro and in 4th was Alex Castellani from Lit Espresso Bar.
We were all quite stunned by the victory, most of all Geoff (if you saw his face when it was announced), his espresso indeed tasted great and his elegant signature drink brought him high scores. Geoff used El Limonar from Guatemala, a bright coffee with Raspberry acidity, and notes of honey and praline in the finish. His signature drink was a refreshing play on the Gin and Tonic. Using a base of local sparkling water over ice, he added a peel of lemon zest, two raspberries on a skewer and then poured a shot of espresso with a 1/2 teaspoon of honey into the mix. The result was balanced and refreshing and the lemon and raspberry perfectly complemented the tasting notes in the coffee. We have added the option of espresso roasts of El Limonar in the "SIZE" drop down menu if you'd like to try Geoff's competition coffee.
If you missed coming out and would like to view the competitors it is still available to view on Ustream.
Geoff and the Detour Crew will be heading out to Vancouver October 3 to cheer him on in the National Barista Competition. The top four of the region also qualified for the Nationals and we look forward to seeing them all in Vancouver.
Not quite as prestigious but still lots of fun for me was my participation in the cup tasting competition. Steve from Social Coffee did a superb job organizing it and I was pleased to finish in second place out of the 15 competitors. I was however a distant second as Laura Perry of Bridgehead Coffee in Ottawa demonstrated the very sharp palette she has by finishing much faster and us and getting one more cup correct in each round.
Finally on the same day it was announced that one of our employees at the cafe, Elise Copps-Smith won the Real Women of Philadelphia Cream Cheese competition. Not only does she get to star in the segments making featuring her recipe with Anna Olson, but she also came home $ 20 000 richer! Congrats Elise!
Such a wonderful week and I just want to say a big thank you to all the volunteers that gave their time to helping at the regionals. Your professionalism and dedication to craft is appreciated immensely. Last and not least, Momi, we couldn't have done it without you and we love you!
Photos: Jessica Lee and Lawrence YanoverRead More