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 Kristina Merryman from Lava Java in Ridgefield, Washington, a 2009 Northwest Regional Barista Competition Finalist.
Did anything surprise you about your regional competition?
Yes, I was very surprised at just how intense it was!
Will adjust your approach for the United States Barista Championship? If so, how?
Yes I will adjust my approach for USBC. I have taken my score sheets and studied them well to see what the judges liked or didn’t like and I have really taken it to heart. It’s really great to have that kind of feedback.
What is your goal at the USBC?
My goal is really to do my best and to be proud of my performance.
What did you learn by competing at your regional?
I learned the flow of things, how to deal with the intensity of the situation, and what to expect in the future.
What’s your training schedule like until the USBC?
It’s not that bad, I practice about 5 times a week doing as many runs as I can handle. The closer it gets the more I practice as well as working my normal shifts.
What’s a coffeehouse you didn’t know about before your regional competition that you now plan to visit?
I plan on visiting Dillanos. I had actually heard of them before but was unfamiliar with them, and they did such a great job at the NWRBC that I will definitely visit them in the future.
What’s your approach in choosing the music that plays during your performance?
It was important to me to choose music that relaxes me and that I enjoy because the more relaxed I am the better I can focus on everything else. Also, I want it to enhance and add a bit of personality to my performance.