Behind the Curtain of Quills Coffee Standards

Down at the Quills coffee ranch we are always striving for better. But who decides what is best in the coffee world? We get inspiration from many pros in the coffee industry, roasters, baristas, and reps alike. As specialty coffee culture is growing in America and across the globe a standard is being set.
One of the primary associations to set this standard is the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). The SCAA is based out of Long Beach, CA but serves as a resource and network for coffee industry professionals all over the US. Among being smart and cool, the SCAA organizes and regulates the United States Barista Competition (USBC).
In addition to being a big deal among baristas, this competition helps to establish the standard of coffee brewing and barista stylings. The competitors must make a single espresso, a single cappuccino and a specialty espresso drink for each Judge. Within their fifteen minute barista presentation, they present each beverage in the order of their choice. Baristas are judged on taste, aesthetic, creativity and presentation. Unlike Latte Art Competitions, the barista is graded on taste and use of their imagination in their specialty drink. The winner of the USBC then goes on to compete in the World Barista Competition (WBC), which is a really big deal. The regulation established by the SCAA in these competitions has influenced the standards we hold at Quills.
This process may sound similar to the presentation Chris DeFerio gave at the Prima Barista Bash Quills hosted last spring. DeFerio, a winner of multiple Barista Championships, detailed the process of the barista competition and wowed the mock judges with his smoked milk and orange espresso drink. No wonder he is a winner.  
Who knew being a barista was such a big deal? Well it definitely is, and we aren’t the only ones that think so. There are competitions all over the country. Coffee Fest is also a convergence of coffee enthusiasts that influence Quills. Holding fests allover the country, even Hawaii, this meeting of hundreds of growers, roasters, baristas, equipment reps and every kind coffee lover under the sun come together to talk coffee. Hosting workshops and competitions, the goals is consistently learning and improvement.
Coming into coffee full force has led Quills into the path of such prominent and important coffee folks and we hope their standards keep raising, so ours do to.