Game On GLRBC!

February 25, 2008

March 14, 15 and 16.  Those are the dates for the Great Lakes Regional Barista Competition, the GLRBC for those in the loop and the “glerbic” for the phonetically inclined… I am preparing for this with the traditional fever one finds two weeks before any form of professional competition.  This translates into squeezing into the lab every second I can, fervently tasting different incarnations of the blend I am using, musing about/working/reworking my signature drink and locating all of the final touches of table settings, cups and equipment.  A bit tiring but exciting overall.  This year the GLRBC is being hosted outside of Chicago, a first for the event to my knowledge.  Our good friends to the north, Alterra Coffee, are providing the infrastructure and good times.  This year, aside from the venue change, there is also a big change for the Intelly lineup.  The founding forefathers known as the Fulton street killas are all gone onto other things, scattered like leaves… Matt Riddle, Ellie Matusac, Amber Sather, Steven Rogers…  None of these folks, who in the last two years were not only the power houses of Intelly Chicago but also industry favorites for high placement at the USBC, will be at the GLRBC his year.  Our crop of soldiers this year are all fresh to game aside from myself and it has been exciting to see what they are coming up with.  We have a healthy swath of baristas coming from each of our stores and 2 head trainers from the roasting works.  In previous years the Intelly competitors have pretty much done their own things with maybe a run through thrown in before the big day.  This year however, the vibe has been different.  Under the guidance of our training head Amber Sather, we have had an in store comp, signature drink work shopping and a full run through day.  Our roasting works trainers, Andy and Alex have also come through with some real efforts by working with our in store staff and training with them in the lab.  All in all it’s a whole new game with an entirely new team, but not weaker in anyway.  Its pretty daunting seeing the competition that’s coming from inside my own company, even more so when I think about what Lucey, Tisel and the rest of the region plan on bringing.  Hopefully I can get a little more up in the next week as to how its all shaping up, but we’ll see.  Game on.

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