Ritual Roasters barista (and presumed non-Communist) Chris Baca won the Specialty Coffee Association of America's (SCAA) Western Regional Barista Competition (WRBC) -- an organization that apparently loves acronyms almost as much as they love coffee. Baca will go on to compete in the 2008 United States Barista Championship (yes, also known as the USBC), held in Minneapolis, May 2 - 5.
The challenge involved whipping up 12 coffee concoctions in 15 minutes -- four espressos, four cappuccinos, and four custom drinks. Baca's secret weapon was a cherry-lime cheescake drink:
"The bottom layer of the drink included a strained and chilled cherry-lime reduction with a mixture of cream cheese, milk and a dusting of powdered sugar comprising the middle layer. The beverage's top portion featured a cheesecake mix blended with a rich Fazenda Sao Joao coffee."