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 baristas who placed in the Top 6 in their respective region and decided to compete for greater glory. Meet Scott Lucey from Alterra Coffee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Great Lakes Regional Barista Champion and a contender for the American coffee crown.
Josh Lurie: Did anything surprise you about your regional competition?
Scott Lucey: The high scores… I didn’t expect to rack up so many points, that’s for sure.
JL: Will adjust your approach for the United States Barista Championship? If so, how?
JL: What is your goal at the USBC?
SL: 1) Have fun. 2) Win.
JL: What did you learn by competing at your regional?
SL: There are a handful of technical things to sharpen, but mostly I learned the importance of being myself and having a great time.
JL: What’s your training schedule like until the USBC?
SL: With only ten days it’s tight. I still have shifts to work, but am also able to block off time to practice. I’m also going to take two days and serve Nelson Melo Espresso and Liquid Swords to the public for free. That will be the best practice to perfect the construction of Liquid Swords.
JL: What’s a coffeehouse you didn’t know about before your regional competition that you now plan to visit?
SL: Laterza Coffee, Cincinnati, Ohio.
JL: What’s your approach in choosing the music that plays during your performance?
SL: It’s got to fit in well with the time I need to talk but be enjoyable to listen to while not talking. Keep it upbeat and head-bobbable.