Since starting my coffee career, I’ve been obsessed with the competitive side of the industry and yearning to be a part of it. There was something about being able to curate your presentation, to express yourself, the attention to detail, and the passion for storytelling that was hypnotic.
I attended U.S. Coffee Champs for the first time in early 2020 and was set to make it happen for the following competitive season. As we all know, the pandemic had a tremendous effect on these type of events and my hopes of competing were put on hold.
Finally, it was announced that Preliminaries for August 2022 were to be held in Tucson, hosted by our friends at Presta! I was dead set to seize this moment and finally compete. I can’t even begin to explain how excited I was! I immediately started reaching out to sponsors, started developing my theory and routine, and started practicing for friends and some of our regulars.
The lead up to it was filled with anxiety and excitement and I was feeling pretty good about my routine. I remember that on our drive to Tucson, I was listening to a recording I did of my routine, both to memorize it and to keep me focused.
Kimhak was also competing but was taking a more relaxed approach based on intuition and feel. I envied that type of freedom but also accepted that wasn’t my M.O. and would take a more structured approach. I think that worked for me.
The morning of the competition is a bit of a blur. I was feeling extremely nervous and shut off from the world; all the while Kimhak was living it up. As soon as I started my presentation, I went into auto pilot and before I knew it, it was over. I felt great about how my presentation went but even more happy to be done with it.
I was living out a dream of mine and I really want to thank Kimhak and Eugenia for allowing me to represent Pair Cupworks. Now we’re headed to Denver, Colorado for Qualifiers in March of 2023 and I couldn’t be more excited and thankful for the opportunity.