From April 15-18, 2010, Anaheim is hosting the United States Barista Championship. Leading up to the competition, Food GPS is showcasing regional barista champions. Meet Greg Lefcourt from Ozo Coffee Co., a contender for the American coffee crown:
What is it about coffee that inspires you?
The frequency of learning experiences I have surrounding coffee. Everyday I learn something new about coffee; farms, green bean sourcing, roasting processes, consumer trends in the industry, etc… It is so awesome to continually become educated in my profession and to see how my finished product gives people extreme satisfaction.
What did you learn by competing at the regional competition?
The scores are all higher, so the Baristas are getting better! This is sooooo good for what we do as Baristas; it raises the bar every year. Good coffee is becoming much more sought after by consumers than the average cup. Boulder is a PRIME example for that trend.
Did anything catch you off guard at the regional?
Getting my tongue burned at the 4th machine. Ouch.
Do you plan to change your approach at all for the USBC? If so, how?
Gonna just be precise in everything I say and do. A lot of training and practice lies ahead. Maybe some tweaks to my signature beverage.
What’s your goal at the USBC?
Boost my score from last year’s competition. Reconnect with the good coffee people. Have a blast. Meet Donald on the Teacups for another go!
What’s the key to a great signature beverage?
Really allowing your espresso to take on a whole other dimension with the addition of new ingredients.
What’s your approach when choosing music for competitions?
Keep me moving and give the crowd some head-bobbing, tap your feet goodness.
Was there a coffeehouse you didn’t know about before the regional that you now want to try?
Java on Sherman in Coeur D’Alene, ID and Off the Leaf Coffee Bar in Billings, MT. Newcomers to the competition world with mad enthusiasm, mad skills, and mad passion for coffee.