Competitors Set for Coffee Fest Denver

May 03

Holly Barrett

Competitors Set for Coffee Fest Denver

By: Holly Barrett

Competitors Set for Coffee Fest Denver

The mid-west specialty coffee community will gather June 8-10, 2018 at the Colorado Convention Center for Coffee Fest Denver. Over 3,500 specialty coffee industry professionals will descend on Denver for three days at this industry-only event. Coffee roasters, specialty coffee retailers, owners, buyers, managers and baristas will participate in over 155 hours of coffee & tea industry education, meet new business suppliers, discover innovative new products and equipment, and network with the coffee community.

Three unique coffee competitions will take place over the weekend with companies and individuals contending for top spots.

Opening rounds of the Latte Art World Championship Open (LAWCO) begins Friday with Final Rounds slated for Sunday. LAWCO will bring 64 individuals (11 from Colorado) from around the world to compete with a precisely intricate latte design. Competitors will be given three minutes to produce one free-pour drink using just skill, milk and espresso – no tools or powders allowed. A panel of three experienced judges will review each head-to-head competition and evaluate the design based on speed, aesthetic beauty, color infusion, definition and degree of difficulty. Competition begins Friday morning and runs through Sunday mid-day.

Three-time LAWCO winner, Lance Hedrick from Onyx Coffee Labs in Arkansas will be there to compete, hoping to make LAWCO history by securing a fourth first-place win. “To date, I have competed in seven Coffee Fest Latte Art World Championship Opens. I keep coming back for two main reasons: the people and the title. I’ve made fantastic relationships with competitors across the world and they all come together for this competition. Hanging out with them is a highly alluring feature to this competition. Winning, however, is my main draw. The most anyone has ever won is three. I want four.”

America’s Best Espresso Competition brings 24 craft coffee roasters from the mid-west to showcase their best beans, 16 representing Colorado. Roasters will have 10 minutes to prepare three espresso shots and submit them to a three-person judging panel. Single elimination competition starting Saturday afternoon and runs through Sunday afternoon.

America’s Best Cold Brew Competition acknowledges the best-tasting still cold brew and nitro cold brew from 16 still competitors and 16 nitro competitors. 16 cold brew (still and nitro) competitors are from Colorado. Show attendees are invited to taste and vote on cold brew samples through several rounds. Blind judge scores are combined with attendee voting results to determine the winners. Competition runs from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon.

First, second and third place finishers in each coffee competition earns a cash prize, a trophy and recognition from the coffee community.

“It’s a big validation for us to win America’s Best Espresso (ABE) competition. We’re a small roaster doing big things off the beaten path in Northern California, so to bring what we do to a big stage and get the kind of response we got, it’s a nice reminder that despite our size, our team is up to something special,” commented Coffee Fest Portland 2017 first place ABE winner, Keith Feign, President & owner of Black Oak Coffee.

Nearly 200 companies will make up the tradeshow floor with equipment, business services, resell merchandise, coffee, tea and much more. Exhibitors have the opportunity to enter their products into the Product Showcase. Three industry professionals will evaluate each new product entry based on innovation and retailer appeal with awards presented to the top three consumable and top three non-consumable products in the showcase.

Attendees will also be invited to vote for their favorite new or featured product in the People’s Choice “Best of Fest” New Product Competition and one winner will be awarded.

About Coffee Fest: Coffee Fest is a business-to-business industry event serving the specialty coffee and gourmet tea industries since 1992. Coffee Fest draws more than 10,000 specialty coffee professionals and competitors a year, connecting regional coffee communities through regional tradeshow events. For more details about Coffee Fest, learn more about Coffee Fest competitions and much more, visit


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