Interview: 2009 USBC Competitor Dale B. Donchey (method)

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Barista Atlanta

From March 5-8, the Oregon Convention Center in Portland is hosting the 2009 United States Barista Championship. Leading up to the USBC, I’m showcasing baristas who decided to compete for the American coffee crown. Meet Dale B. Donchey from method. Coffee Bar & Tea Lounge in Atlanta, Georgia, the 2009 South East Regional Barista Competition Finalist.

1. Did anything surprise you about your regional competition?
The level of competition that has developed in the South East Region has been an amazing surprise. Along with the move to doserless grinders as the house grinder.

2. Will adjust your approach for the United States Barista Championship? If so, how?
I believe that my approach is what has given me the chance to compete in the USBC, I will change my presentation a little though. Spice up the signature drink a little and talk a lot more about my espresso.

3. What is your goal at the USBC?
To not go over my time, represent my coffee, my self, my customers and my shop with pride. And without a doubt have fun; that’s what these things should always be about.

4. What did you learn by competing at your regional?
Practice is always a good thing.

5. What’s your training schedule like until the USBC?
Coach Jordan Chambers and I meet at the shop at 6am, drink coffee, game plan, go over my presentation layout, do some speech work (he may know it better then me at this point), drink more coffee, drop 20ish cappuccinos in a row, break for a latte art throwdown, then cap off the morning with a full run through including signature drink. Have “lunch” at 10:30am and work our shifts. Repeat as needed.

6. What’s a coffeehouse you didn’t know about before your regional competition that you now plan to visit?
mmmmm….1000faces Coffee, Athens GA: what up David Delchamps?

7. What’s your approach in choosing the music that plays during your performance?
Lights and Music…it’s like a barista music video.


Joshua Lurie

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

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