this blog assumes the informal word is true, and the 2007 southeast regional barista competition will be held in clearwater, fla.
forgetting for a moment the extreme nether location for what is a 10-state competition region — on a peninsula! that juts into the sea! — the most burning question just might be: who will fill the seats without the usual hometown crowd from counter culture coffee?
it always seemed to this blog that a huge portion of the attendees at the past three chapel hill iterations came from north carolina’s triangle area, including a dozen or so from the east coast’s genial, talent-snarfing, durham-based roasting juggernaut alone. (no wonder the third wave crowd seemed so clubby!) it’s a safe bet they won’t all be carpooling the 11-hour trip south. and if you thought consumers didn’t show in chapel hill (there was basically this blog and uh … uh), just wait until the interested parties price plane tickets to tampa! of all the potentially eager s.c. attendees — competitors and enthusiasts — it’s hard to conjure one likely to go. atlanta, yes. clearwater, no.
which leaves the excitement-generating duties to … clearwater-based ambex roasters. is this an optimal scenario for advancement of the movement? just askin’!
UPDATE: telling verbage: “Hosting a Regional Barista Competition can give your company valuable exposure and connect you to coffee enthusiasts in your area.” (emphasis added) … which would make this the west central florida ambex barista jam!
UPDATE: ok, so it’s not such an informal rumor. strangely, we glanced earlier at this web site and quickly concluded, “naaah. that can’t be an official site.” but it is. the official date is oct. 19-21.
UPDATE: we haven’t even popped open the ol’ economic disadvantage argument. what were we thinking. it’s been, oh, at least a month since we’ve conjured the pitiful plight of the aspirational, shift-working barista effectively barred from from the rejuvenating camraderie of competition by the three deadly d’s — distance, duty and a dearth of corporate lard!
UPDATE: wait. there’s evening softball? we take it all back!