From March 5-8, the Oregon Convention Center in Portland is hosting the United States Barista Championship. Leading up to the USBC, I’m showcasing contenders for the American coffee crown. Meet Amber Johnson from LAMILL Coffee in Los Angeles.
Josh Lurie: Did anything surprise you about your regional competition?
Amber Johnson: I was surprised by how much fun it was and how hot the lights are!
JL: Will you adjust your approach for the United States Barista Championship? If so, how?
AJ: I’m changing my espresso to a blend rather then the single origin that I used last time. My presentation will otherwise be very similar but hopefully more polished.
JL: What is your goal at the USBC?
AJ: This year is all about getting comfortable and aquatinted with competitions for me. My goal is to do better then last time.
JL: What did you learn by competing at your regional?
AJ: I learned more about the specifics that the judges are looking for. I loved the one on one time I spent talking to the judges at my regional, I learned SO MUCH!
JL: What’s your training schedule like until the USBC?
AJ: That’s top secret information.
JL: What’s a coffeehouse you didn’t know about before your regional competition that you now plan to visit?
AJ: The Abbey if I ever go to Santa Cruz.
JL: What’s your approach in choosing the music that plays during your performance?
AJ: I’m picking music that makes me happy and relaxed and fits the personality of my presentation.