Black Oak named Overall Champion Roaster at Golden Bean North America
We obsess over the details, both in the cafe preparing your drinks, but also in the roastery — making sure that each coffee is roasted with precision, attention, and purpose. And whether you enjoy the fruits of our labor at our place, at home, or from one of our wholesale partners, we hope you taste great coffees that make you smile.
Two weeks ago, we took some of our coffees up to Portland, OR, to participate in the Golden Bean North America coffee roasting competition. Barista competitions have existed in our little specialty coffee world for quite some time, shining a spotlight on the craft and skill behind preparing espresso and espresso drinks. While the competitions are great for rewarding dedicated baristas and giving them a platform in the coffee business, they also go a long way toward elevating the craft across the board. Ideas are exchanged, new techniques are cross-pollinated, and the tide rises for everyone — all the way back to you standing in line at your favorite cafe. It was only a matter of time before the specialty coffee world found a way to give the experts behind the roaster a chance to shine, and boy did the Black Oak roasting team shine.
As part of saying thanks to all of our fans, we’re offering a discount on our top two coffees from the competition. Ethiopia Chelelektu and Kenya Othaya are now 15% off for the next two weeks, using code GBNA2017 at checkout. Check it out, and thanks for supporting Black Oak.
With 10 categories and 830 coffees submitted, the 120 tasters evaluating coffees scored each coffee on factors like acidity, sweetness, body, and balance. At last year’s competition, we entered our Ethiopia Gedeb and Banko coffees, taking home 2 gold medals in the pourover and single-origin espresso categories, respectively. In order to be considered for the overall prize, we had to participate in at least the three main categories of the competition: espresso, pourover, and espresso plus milk. The top combined score would take the top prize, so with 4 silver medals and 5 bronze medals across the event, we took home the big one! We’ve now got a really cool trophy for the effort and a future trip to origin to meet with coffee producers.
Outside of the competition, it was great to connect with other roasters from around the country. We took advantage of the breaks in activity to meet new people and have some really inspiring conversations. For more than a decade, the team behind the Golden Bean roasting competitions has been successfully hosting events in Australia, where each competition sees thousands of entries. Black Oak co-founder Keith Feigin enjoyed the positive, engaging vibe of the Portland event, and was even invited to be a lead judge at the Australian event in November in the filter category.
We’ve been on a roll lately, getting recognition for our coffees and team all over the place. From Coffee Review’s writeup on our Duomo Espresso to Steve’s reigning run as the U.S. Cup Tasting Champ, it’s pretty special to have those seals of approval from industry insiders. But, what really matters most is that you’re loving it. Whether you’re a Duomo die-hard, a Heartwood regular, or enjoy trying out our seasonal single origins, thanks for having us.