Winners of 2018 U.S. Coffee Champs Prelims Announced

By Neat Pour Staff |

The road to the 2018 U.S. Coffee Championships is dark and full of terroir. Over the last two weeks, competitors began their journey by flocking to the regional preliminary rounds. After grinding away for two long weekends, we now have a list of the brewers and baristas set to advance to the next round.

For the 2017/2018 season, organizers instituted a new format, introducing eight preliminaries. Top finishers in each prelim moves forward to the two CoffeeChamps Qualifying Competitions. The top 36 baristas and the top 24 brewers at the Qualifiers will then move onto “the show”–the 2018 U.S. Coffee Championships.

Six prelims are already complete (with two more scheduled this weekend). Check out the winners below.


The U.S. Brewers Cup Preliminaries each included 8 to 24 competitors allotted seven minutes to impress a panel of judges with two brews. The top four finishers in each prelim punched their ticket to the CoffeeChamps Qualifiers.

Blair Smith of Augie’s Coffee Roasters in California and Zach Perkins of Water Avenue in Portland, OR landed atop the pack with scores of 84 points and change. The rest of the brewers advancing to the next round are listed below:

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Blair Smith of Augie’s Coffee Roasters; Andy Tan of Equator Coffee and Tea; Nick Rivera of Portola Coffee Roasters; and Ben Silkes of Elixr Coffee

Portland, OR

Zach Perkins of Water Avenue; Cruz Conrad of Pachamama Coffee; Joe Yang of Case Study Coffee; and Kelly Hill of Temple Coffee

Denver, CO

Kaley Gann of Messenger Coffee; Sloane Wachob of Novo Coffee; Avery Leith of Huckleberry Coffee Roasters; and Sebastian Legner of Café Pomarrosa

Greenville, SC

Jonathon Bonchak of Slingshot Coffee Company; Wade Preston of Prevail Coffee Roasters; James Spano of Cup to Cup; Dut Goodman of Relevator Coffee

Washington DC

Cody McGregor of Ultimo Coffee; Omar Hossain of Brownsville Roasters; Jacob Cordie of Menagerie Coffee; of Matt Leberman of 3 Bean Coffee



The Barista preliminaries each featured 12 to 36 competitors preparing two milk beverages and 2 espressos for the judges in an allotted seven minute time period. The top eight scorers are guaranteed a spot at the U.S. CoffeeChamps Qualifying Competitions. (Others can still enter in the next round through an application process.)

Brad Hartman of Tandem Creperie & Coffeehouse in Travelers Rest, SC logged the top score nationally with a 203.5. Right behind him was Jenna Gotthelf of New York City’s Everyman Espresso with a 200.5. The full list of baristas moving on to the next round follows:

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

T. Ben Fischer of Elixir Coffee Roasters; Matthew Barahura of Intelliegentsia; Naida Lindberg of Verve Coffee Roasters; Kay Cheon of The French Press; Suzy Lippmann of Auggies; Jen McElroy of Klatch Coffee; Hana Kaneshigo of Verve Coffee Roasters; and Alexndra Mireles of Klatch Coffee.

Seattle, WA

Andrew Iwerson of Cherry Street Public House; Conor Dolan of Cherry Street Public House; Sam Bradvein of Dillanos Coffee Roasters; Brian Seaver of Anchorhead; Robert Uribe of Cherry Street Public House; Nicolas Balcer of Barista; Morgan Macinnins of Batdorf & Bronson; and Adam Berge of Seattle Coffee Works.

Denver, CO

Brandon Acuna of Fleet Coffee;Josh Mc Neilly of Black Black Coffee; Samuel Neely of Switchback Coffee Roasters; Joel Bigelow of Messenger Coffee Company; Derrick Wessels of Beagle Coffee Company; Macallie Atkinson of Verve Coffee Roasters; Shep Wadley of Huckleberry Coffee Roasters; and Michael Slomzenski of Huckleberry Coffee Roasters.

Greenville, SC

Brad Hartman of Tandem Creperie & Coffeehouse; Evan Pollit of Summit Coffee; Jon Fiedler of Grateful Brew; Alex Medina of Methodical Coffee; Jared Holt of Black & White Coffee; Joel Norman of Chattahoochee Coffee Company; Penelope Hearne of Counter Culture Coffee; and Austin Dryden of Spiller Park Coffee

Washington DC

Jenna Gotthelf of Everyman Espresso; Dawn Shanks of Peregrine Espresso; Amy Trompeter of Ultimo Coffee; Bailey Arnold of Gregorys Coffee; Diane Contreras of Vigilante Coffee Company; Mike Marquard of Blueprint Coffee; Lucas Bermejo of Independent; Daps Salisbury of Blue Bottle Coffee

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