Barista Camp - Summer 2013!

The Barista Guild of America is excited to announce the next BGA Barista Camp will be taking place at Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan, Wisconsin during June 2-5, 2013! Register Now!

Barista Camp photo Barista-Camp-Web-Slide_bga-blog_zps4419a629.png

Barista Guild Members to Provide Coffee Experience at TED2013

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our barista teams that have been selected to serve coffee at TED and TEDActive on February 25 - March 1, 2013. Follow along right here on the BGA Blog and on Twitter at #TEDcoffee.


BGA Launches Handbook for Level 1 & 2 Certificate

We're excited to launch our BGA Certification Handbook for Levels 1 & 2! This handbook outlines in detail everything you need to know about the BGA Certificate Program for these levels. You can download the full handbook here.


Camp Pull-A-Shot Mi Amore. A Recap.

Posted by jason dominy On 11:50 AM
In October, baristas and coffee professionals from all over the world came to camp at the first ever BGA retreat, Camp Pull-A-Shot. Held at El Capitan Canyon just outside Santa Barbara, California, more than 110 people showed up to set the bar for what a BGA retreat could look like. On hand were baristas, roasters, shop owners, and even coffee growers like Miss Aida Batlle, the reknown coffee farmer from El Salvador. It truly was an event that will go down in infamy, history was made, and the whole event was a complete success.
Many baristas came to be BGA certified, and many achieved that goal. Over the course of the weekend, the BGA welcome 73 new Level One certified baristas to the fold, and 14 new Level Two baristas to the fold. We currently have just over 125 Level One certified baristas total, meaning that more than half happened at Camp Pull-A-Shot, something weʼre very proud of. Baristas really put a lot of time and effort into the certification process, and it paid off for them with something they could take back to their shops and be proud of.

The labs that were offered were both Level One and Level Two labs, and many took advantage
of the amazing content already offered by the SCAAʼs Professional Development team. As well as a few new cutting edge labs created just for Camp, like the “Entering the World of Barista Competitions” lab, which was a roundtable that featured competitors like Nick Cho, Chris Baca, Sammy Piccolo, Mike Marquard and Dan Streetman. There was also the highly popular “Exploring Manual Brewing Methods and Extraction”, which I led, but included manual brewing pros like Eton Tsuno, Sarah Kluth, Trevor Corlett, and Daniel Thompson. That lab was made even better by a special presentation by Vince Fedele, the inventor of the Extract MoJo who gave a great presentation on coffee extraction, and how the Extract MoJo can be used to help baristas dial in manual brewing methods. Truly one of the most educational aspects of the weekend for many people. There were also labs on coffee farming, as well as a roundtable of growers/importers/roasters on the current state of coffee, which covered many of the challenges of the coffee industry as we know it.Another cool part of the Camp experience was that attendees were divided up into 11 teams, each with itʼs own chosen name and team captain. The Barista World Cup was a competition that featured lots of challenges related to coffee and espresso, and helped build proper teamwork and support. One such event, was that each team was responsible for working a bar shift at the BGA Bar in which the teams were in charge of creating a menu, brewing coffees and making espresso drinks, and providing all the key elements of customer service. The teams were then judged on the experience they offered to attendees, and counted towards the teamʼs overall total. When all was said and done, Team 2060 won the Barista World Cup, beating out a very feisty Team Heather Perry and a Team Cup Norris.

Attendees had some of the best and latest coffee and espresso equipment at their disposal over the course of the Camp, from Marco Uber Boilers, to La Marzocco Linea paddles, the BUNN Trifecta, and even the new KONE Filter for Chemex by Coava Coffee, who overnighted two especially for Camp-goers. There were great espresso machines by both La Marzocco and Nuova Simonelli, and grinders like the NS Mythos for attendees to play with. And play they did. There was ample time for attendees to get on the machines and make espresso.

For me, the Camp was made even more special by the fact that as much as I was helping train baristas in coffee and espresso, they were teaching me. They reminded me of what itʼs like to be at a level where youʼre just soaking up knowledge like a sponge. Attendees were so dialed into what was being taught, to learning new things. And at times, I can forget why I do what I do, but seeing these baristas who had invested so much time and money coming reminded me of what makes coffee special. Itʼs that no one knows it all, and thereʼs always something to learn. And seeing so many baristas meet each other for the first time not on Facebook or Barista Exchange was really cool. People putting faces to these names theyʼve known for so long. It was special to me in so many ways, I know I wonʼt forget it.The other things that made Camp Pull-A-Shot special were things like: Peter Giuliano playing the accordian for all Aida Batlle becoming the first coffee grower BGA certified. Gianni from Nuova Simonelli doing a keg-stand. There were yurts. Baristas jumping on water bottles, and everyone avoiding the bees, which were out in full-force for Camp. There were songs sung by the campfire, Sʼmores made, stories told, methods explained, and friendships made. Each barista was made to realize that from the grower to the barista, they were all connected to something so much bigger than their shop. And thatʼs what the BGA is all about. Itʼs all about connecting baristas all over to the greater cause of great coffee and espresso, a cause thatʼs fought everyday in coffee shops all over this country. Camp Pull-A-Shot 2010 will forever go down as the heralding of the Dawn of the Barista. And that makes all of us who were involved proud. See you at Camp next year!

#Camppullashot is blowing up on Twitter!

Posted by Tara On 8:45 AM
We'll have a full write up on the awesomeness that was the first annual BGA Camp Pull A Shot in the next day or so, but you can see from all the social media love happening over the past few days this event was one that will go down in BGA history:

Oh, and of course be sure to follow @Baristaguild on Twitter!

"we're at the dawning of the barista era in the specialty coffee industry" - @specialtycoffee #Camppullashotless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

I can't tell you how many dreams are coming true simultaneously in the frame of this pic! #camppullashot than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

Heather Perry: "Make sure your espesso doesn't touch ice." Nick Cho: "What?!?" #camppullashotless than a minute ago via Echofon

Wishing I was at @baristaguild #Camppullashot. Gotta save my tips and make it next year!less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

Manual Brewing Battle- Atlanta. Oct. 24th.

Posted by jason dominy On 6:53 PM

One Coffee. Any Method. One Winner. Anybody's Game.
There will be one coffee.
You can brew with any device or dosing.
There will be one winner chosen from a panel of three judges on taste.
All are welcome to battle it out. There will be cool prizes.

Coffee will be announced the night prior to the event.

Special Guest Judge will be announced.

Plans are that we all go out to eat afterwards, if possible.

Sponsored by Batdorf & Bronson, Barista Magazine.

For More Info:

Updated Camp Pull-A-Shot Speakers List

Posted by Tara On 12:12 PM
The first ever Barista Guild of America Camp Pull-A-Shot is a week away! In case you’re still on the fence about attending, we’d like to let you in on some of the great professional and educational events we’ve got in store for you. All of these discussions and presentations are geared toward the evolution and growth of the individual barista and the community as a whole. It is our goal to equip you with the tools to turn your passion into a viable and rewarding career. We hope to see you there!

State of Origin 2010- Panel Discussion:
Peter Giuliano- Counter Culture Coffee
Jamin Haddox- Café Imports
Rich Avella- Peet’s Coffee and Tea
Noah Namowicz- Café Imports
Sarah Kluth- Intelligentsia Coffee

Exploring Manual Brewing Methods and Extraction:
Jason Dominy- Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters
Nick Cho- Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters
Sarah Kluth- Intelligentsia Coffee

Entering the World of Barista Competitions:
Sammy Piccolo-, Canadian National Barista Champion
Rich Avella- Peet’s Coffee and Tea, WBC Judge, USBC Head Judge
Dan Streetman- Dallis Coffee, USBC Head Judge
Chris Baca- Verve Coffee Roasters, USBC Finalist
Mike Marquard- Kaldi’s Coffee Roasters- USBC Finalist

Beyond the Beverage- Exploring the role of the Barista as a true service professional:
Ric Rhinehart- SCAA
Rich Avella- Peet’s Coffee & Tea
Scott Lucey- Alterra Coffee

It's not too late to sign up!
Click photo to be redirected to registration website.

Help out our friend Keith!

Posted by Ben Helfen On 10:41 AM

Over the weekend, our good friend and BGA member, Keith Mrotek, was in a motorbike accident that sent him to the hospital. He broke a vertebrae and had to be put in a halo. He won't be able to get back to work for weeks, possibly even months.

We hope that Keith's recovery is super speedy, but he will undoubtedly be needing some help with bills in the meantime. We at the BGA wanted to put together a little fund for him to help him out until he gets back on his feet. You can donate through PayPal by click the "Donate" button below. 100% of the donations will go to Keith.

Keith is a valued member of the Specialty Coffee community and we wish him all the best!

Five Questions With A BGA Member- Terry Ziniewicz.

Posted by jason dominy On 2:27 PM
This Five Questions post features a name most baristas and coffee professionals know, Terry Ziniewicz. Terry owns both Espresso Parts NW and Olympia Coffee Roasters. He's a huge supporter of the industry, and has been a supporter of the Barista Guild for many years. He's married to Kelly, and has two kids, Sean and Sara. He's also quite the fan of Volkswagen buses, which we'll get into later. Cheer Terry Z, thanks for all you do for the BGA.

Terry, Let's Do This.
1. How have you seen the barista change in the past 10 years? For better or worse?
The Barista role in coffee has certainly changed over the last ten years. The advent of Barista competitions has played a large role in this. I think that anytime you provide a venue for professionals to compete against one another, you create a higher level of interest. The place of a Barista within our industry has become an import role in the continuing education of coffee aficionados, and the staff of a coffee centered business.

2. Why are you a BGA member?
I joined the BGA early on as member #67, at the Atlanta SCAA show in 2005? I joined to show support and solidarity toward the position of Barsita as a career. I also joined the BGA, so that I could be in the loop of events and concerns pertaing to the role of Barista in a production environment. The work we do at Espressoparts is directly related to the requests and ideas shared by those in the industry, and in particular, Baristas.

3. What do you see as the most important thing the BGA should be doing?
The BGA as a guild is an interesting concept, and much like the association it is a part of (SCAA), we should be providing lobbying efforts with regards to wages, and benefits, based on a living wage type scenario. Defining the role of a Barista and the role they play in the successes and failures of a coffee house. Providing benefits and services that allow for the offset of membership costs. Continued support of Barista events and sanctioning of events for consistency.

4. Tell us about your affinity for VW vans.
Volkswagens and I go way back to my childhood. Many trips from San Diego to the Pacific Northwest were made by my family in VW buses. I suspect that due to my early exposure to these vehicles they crossed over into my adult life. Currently my family owns a restored 1962 VW Westfalia that we have owned for 27 years and a 91 Westfalia for camping. I have converted Vanagons to Subaru power in recent years creating some very cool vans. There always seems to be a couple of vintage VWs making their way in and out of my life, but I suspect I will always have some connection to Volkswagens.

5. What's your favorite coffee country origin?
Costa Rica

Congratulations to Sanford (Sandy) Bledsoe of Comet Coffee in Ann Arbor Michigan for winning the Camp Pull-A-Shot Scholarship being sponsored by the Barista Guild of America and Barista Magazine. Sanford is just one of many who entered the contest and there are many more who want to attend the first ever BGA Camp Pull-A-Shot. If you or your company are inspired to send one (or more!) of these amazing baristas to Camp Pull-A-Shot, please contact Marcus Boni at and let him know which barista(s) you’d like to support.

Here is Sanford’s winning video. We can tell that he’s definitely dedicated to his craft and we’re excited that he’ll be able to attend this amazing event.

Camp Pull-A-Shot will take place from October 18th to the 21st at El Capitan Canyon in Goleta, CA. For more information, click the image below.

To see the 10 other videos submitted by deserving baristas who would love the chance to attend Camp Pull-A-Shot, visit the Barista Magazine blog at:

Congratulations to Rachel Jepsen, Paul Yates, Diana Davis, David Yates, and Chris Babble for winning free USBC/WBC t-shirts! We will be contacting all of you shortly. Thank you to all who entered and filled out our survey!

Contest winners were randomly selected using the number generator at