The nation’s biggest coffee trade show is underway in New York, and three Virginians are heading that way to compete for the title of America’s Best Coffee House.
The Mudhouse in Charlottesville, which began brewing coffee for Charlottesville 20 years ago, applied to compete in this year’s contest, and after secret sippers came through, Mudhouse won the chance to show its stuff in New York, but Operations Director Dan Pabst says choosing which coffees to serve in competition was a tough task.
“In addition to our classic espresso, we’ll be bringing the Finca El Guamo, which is a microlot from Efrain Vasquez. He produced 200 kilos of coffee this year, and we bought all of it, and then we’re also bringing a Panama Bambito Estate, and we’ve got one other little special treat. It’s a special espresso that Eric, Amy and I developed just for the competition, that has some great fruit notes as well as a deep chocolate undertone," said Pabst.
He, Eric Mason and Amy Guzzardi will be scored on mundane matters like cleanliness and consistency, and on more subjective things like foam quality and volume, creativity and presentation. There are seven shops competing for the Eastern title, including Peregrine Espresso from D.C. The winners will go on to challenge baristas from the Midwest and Western United States, ultimately taking home $2500, a trophy and the title of America’s Best Coffee House.