The Sprudge Report - Champ Chat
This week we interviewed some of the biggest winners from the 2023 US Coffee Championships.
2023 US Barista Champion Isaiah Sheese: The Sprudge Interview
It’s been nearly 15 years in the making, but Isaiah Sheese of Archetype Coffee is the United States Barista Champion. Sheese started competing all the back in 2009 and has been a constant on the USBC stage. And in 2023, his steady upward trajectory finally reached its ultimate endpoint. Following his thrilling victory, we spoke to Sheese about his big win, his very pink routine, and what to expect at the WBC later this year in Athens.
Returning to the Accademia del Caffe Espresso
La Marzocco’s Accademia del Caffe Espresso in Tuscany inhabits multiple identities, and there is an air of whimsy to the space, a sort of Disney World for coffee lovers but also very much a working educational and research hub and a positively stunning office setting for La Marzocco’s team, both local and global. Coming here, in this stunningly restored traditional factory, you cannot help but feel connected to something bigger, to the tradition and history of coffee culture as it has extended around the world over the last 100 years. It’s bigger than any one brand or place, and this feeling is captured by the experience of visiting Accademia del Caffe Espresso.
Let’s get crackin’
Hang around a cafe or roastery enough and you’re bound to hear people talk about first crack and second crack and other roasting terms that frankly make no sense. They don’t mean an actual cracking sound, do they? First crack is a vital indicator in the roasting process, but what does it actually mean? To find out, we ask an expert and take a deep dive on everything first crack.
The cup is the thing
Consider the to-go cup. Oft-maligned, the single use paper cup is a topic of much conversation in the coffee industry that is ripe for eco-conscious disruption. One new cup on the market is putting a 21st-century spin on a 5,000-year-old tradition, and to smashing effect. Meanwhile, in Brazil, a brand new cafe harnesses the paper coffee cup a foundational design element.
Coffee for The Weeknd
Multi-platinum recording artist The Weeknd, real name Able Tesfaye, has teamed up with Blue Bottle for a new coffee brand, Samra Origins. The new coffee line will highlight the coffees of Ethiopias, with proceeds going to humanitarian aid in the producing country.
LAF Bar Pro wins big at SCA Expo
The Year of the Milk Course wasn’t just for the USBC stage it appears, as Latte Art Factory’s no-steam microfoamer, the LAF Bar Pro, takes home a Best New Product award at this year’s SCA Expo. Click here to learn more!
A coffee mailer that keeps plastics out of the ocean
When considering sustainability in shipping materials, NYC’s Joe Coffee Company has taken a radical new approach, teaming up with Better Packaging Co to create mailers made entirely out of plastics that would otherwise end up in the ocean. Better Packaging works with coastal communities in Southeast Asia to collect plastics from shorelines and waterways. It creates jobs for underserved communities without waste management infrastructure, finds a second use for plastics, and helps them find their way to a place that can dispose of them properly. It’s a win win win.
2023 US Brewers Cup Champion Joe Yang: The Sprudge Interview
If ever there was an unexpected victory at this level of competition, it would be Joe Yang’s. The Brewer’s Cup is perhaps the most coffee-centric of all the US Coffee Championship, and Yang ran out of coffee after the Semi-Finals and had to source a new coffee mere hours before his Finals routine. But Yang, the ultimate competitor, was unfazed. And the story of how he made it to this point is equally as compelling as his storybook USBrC win. It’s a must-read interview.
New job listings from Sprudge Jobs
Hubbard and Cravens Coffee & Tea - Cashier/Barista - Indianapolis, IN
Canyon Coffee - Production Manager - Los Angeles, CA
Equator Coffees - Cafe General Manager - San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Equator Coffees - Barista - San Francisco Bay Area/Los Angeles, CA
Equator Coffees - Shift Lead - San Francisco Bay Area/Los Angeles, CA
Equator Coffees - Production Associate & Delivery Driver - San Rafael, CA
Equator Coffees - Production Lead - San Rafael, CA
Dozer Coffee - Hear Roaster - Ann Arbor, MI
Tradecraft Coffee & Teas - Contract Trainer - Multiple locations
Verve Coffee Roasters - Bay Area Regional Manager - San Francisco, CA
Counter Culture Coffee - Regional Manager - Los Angeles, CA
Joe Coffee Company - Full- or Part-Time Production Assistant - Long Island City, NY
Joe Coffee Company - Assistant Manager, Roasting - Long Island City, NY
Shared Source - Green Sales Account Manager - Portland, OR
New cafes on Sprudge Maps
Here are new cafes discoverable on our global cafe portal Sprudge Maps. Register your cafe for free—thanks to the support of La Marzocco and Pacific Barista Series.
Ghostlight Coffee - Dayton, OH
Do you have a news tip? Feedback? A funny joke? Send us an e-mail, use the contact form on Sprudge, leave a message at 1-888-55-SPRUDGE, or send us a letter at P.O. Box 3943 Portland, OR 97218.
Thanks for reading The Sprudge Report! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support our work.