By Heather Perry
October 24, 2011
Last week Klatch Coffee went to Barista Guild of America's Camp-Pull-A-Shot with three all-star baristas and myself (Heather). Representing the Rancho Klatch we had Cortney and John, from San Dimas we had Liz, and then I (Heather) was there to keep everyone in line and do some testing of my own.
The trip started Monday as we loaded in the car and headed up the coast in the lovely city of Santa Barbara. Before we knew it we had arrived and began settling in to our respective cabins, but there was not much time to relax as I had Level 1 exams to administer, and our baristas had Level 1 exams to take. After getting the hard stuff out of the way though, we headed down to dinner. At dinner we sat with who would be our team members for the next few days and the games began. It started with a game of 'Price is Right' and 'Jeopardy', which was won by John’s team, 'Puck Yeah!' It was a long day for everyone so after the games ended, we all headed to bed.
Tuesday started early and was full of education. One of the first classes of the day we all took together, was the Sensory Skills Test. This is a tasting exercise where you have samples with either slat, sweet, or citric acid in different concentrations. The goal is to determine the sample as well as the concentration strength. This class was a lot of fun and one of the favorites for the week. Other classes included a Seep to Cup, Machine Maintenance, and Bar Efficiency and Workflow. After dinner it was more team competition, this time a relay of sorts. Teams had to run around the camp collecting items needed to brew coffee while also performing activities such as bobbing for apples, eating powdered donuts off a string, and hula hooping. Scores were based on a combination of speed and cup quality. While my team, 'Shot to the Heart,' took first in speed by almost 2 minutes, Puck Yeah! ended up victorious again taking first.
Wednesday was another day full of classes. While I taught Espresso Exploration, John, Liz, and Cortney attended Grind, Dose, Tamp and Milk and Latte Art. In-between classes each team had to run a café and serve coffee to the other campers. The afternoon was spent studying and taking more exams. The time finally came to find out how we had all scored on our tests. John, Liz, and Cortney all passed the BGA Level 1 Certification, and even better news, Cortney passed her Level 2 Certification and I passed the Sensory Skills Test! As great as the night was to this point, it wasn’t over; we still had another team competition. This time we had to work together to prepare an espresso and cappuccino for the judges. After the scores were added together, Puck Yeah! came out on top as the overall winner for the week, taking home bragging rights and the Bill Wallace sign!
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