Interview: Barista Brendan McCarthy (Red Rock Coffee Co.)

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Barista California

Photo courtesy of Brendan McCarthy

From January 23-25, top baristas from California and Hawaii will converge on Los Angeles to compete at the Western Regional Barista Competition. The winner scores a coveted slot in the Semi-Finals of the 2009 United States Barista Championship. Brendan McCarthy from Red Rock Coffee Co. in Mountain View, California, is one barista you’ll find competing at Western Regional Barista Competition at downtown L.A.’s Spring Arts Tower.

Josh Lurie: Why did you decide to compete in the WRBC?

Brendan McCarthy: To gain better knowledge of the Industry and I love performing.

JL: How did you become interested in coffee?

BM: Simply because it is a art form that I enjoy…and it tastes awesome.

JL: What’s your first coffee memory?

BM: I associate the smell with my father….and our time together as a child.

JL: Do you have an espresso mentor? If so, who are they and what did they teach you?

BM: Yes. John Reimenschnitter, he got me started on my path as a barista and has guided me in that journey….and cause he’s just as much as a geek as I am.

JL: What did you do to prepare for the competition?

BM: Meditation, and a lot of practicing my routine.

JL: Outside of your coffeehouse, what’s your favorite coffeehouse in the U.S., and what do you like about it?

BM:Blue Bottle coffee, San Francisco. The simplicity.

JL: Other than yourself, who do you think has a good shot at becoming WRBC champ?

BM: I don’t know the other competitors well enough to make a good judgment.

JL: If you didn’t work in the coffee industry, what would you do for a living?

BM: I guess I’d be a starving artist. But since Coffee IS an art….and I’m broke and hungry…I guess I already am a starving artist. Word.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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