you’ll find no USBC action here

May 6, 2007 – 11:55 am

this blog has long since ceased to hope for freedom from our ‘spro machine’s “tyranny of mechanical limitations — at least by the person who proffered the notion now more than a year ago. meanwhile, another fellow has modestly taken up the spadework, and now steadily offers nothing less than scintillating insight about how high is too high, say, or how quickly in declension one’s brewing pressure should go.

funny thing about the bottom line, though: those burly i-talians manning their rudimentary espresso levers well nigh a century ago … they seem to have had a strong sense of what they were doing! so while we wait for someone to post anything resembling live-action updates from the u.s. barista championship (a busboy, a cameraman, anyone), this blog intends to apply its prehistoric, declining, spring-loaded pressure profile to a batch of fresh toscano.

we always said the lady riviera was our semi-injurious reflective weekend muse

UPDATE: this blog isn’t the only one who appears to be flummoxed that, yet again, the people and organizations who claim to be zealous about the spread of transformative coffee are punting, yet again, on one of the no-brainers of easy, gimme evangelism. information. to consumers. flowing, preferrably in something close to real time. from seminal coffee events. such as the national barista competition, say.

instead, what we got is party pics.

UPDATE: almost as shocking as the first-time competitor who has made the final round is who isn’t there. billy? jon? whaaa?

UPDATE: james is right. the final results hold the potential to shock.

UPDATE: hints begin to surface about what happened to jon lewis, billy wilson and phuong tran — your obvious USBC favorites.

UPDATE: what does it say when the only substantive usbc event-blogging to date comes from a guy who has already returned to england?! we rest our case! (bonus competition cheap shot [it's tough love, we swear]: steve leighton, it turns out, was looking forward to the barista action, but the poor view and lack of atmosphere force him to conclude: “I hated the competition.” it’s one thing to disenfranchise the slobbering fanboys like this blog … it’s quite another to disenfranchise a decorated industry insider!)

UPDATE: actual insider perspective, now bubbling up in the comments.

UPDATE: as you ponder the infuriating, near-total lack of meaningful info about this country’s best practitioners of the barista craft, consider this:

* the barista mag people live-blogged last year’s nordic barista cup with photos, eyewitness accounts, etc. four days after this year’s u.s. national bash began, though, we still got nothing.

* cafe customers in pittsburgh want to know what happened. so do devoted nerds in greenville, s.c. but, the tuesday after, still nothing.

* norwegian blogger gauperaa first called this problem after the 2005 bash. more than two years later, we got nuthin’.

* CI‘s blog hits have soared this week, from people googling “usbc finalists,” “coffee billy wilson what happened?” and “jon lewis 2007 usbc.”

what they’re getting is … this blog’s summary from last year. 2006. meanwhile, it’s noon on the tuesday after our head-snapping winner was named. and still we got nothing.

UPDATE: annnnnnd, now we have a coffee personality who built his street cred on the sheer vitality of web-connected enthusiasts, dismissing calls (two years’ worth) for meaningful online coverage with this line: “a lot goes on at this show.”

after all, it’s not like the internet was accessible within, say, half a mile or so. oh, wait

UPDATE: some long beach blogging, mostly from the trade show convention floor (not the competition), now hanging here … including a spectacular account of one competitor reblending his competitions beans backstage.

UPDATE: competitor scott lucey, apparently, live-roasted some coffee before the judges.

UPDATE: a mere 20 points, apparently, separated first and fifth place last weekend. join this blog in a hearty “schnaikes.”

UPDATE: if this over-unctious brouhaha gets this blog nothing else, we at least have an unheard-of missive from the dred-ed former southeast regional barista champeen lem butler! woohoo. why the trippiest barista on the coast is commenting now instead of, say, when we turned him into a puppet this blog has no idea.