A Word from Robin

My personal espresso blend is called Espresso Elizabetha. I named it after my 19 month old daughter Elizabeth. It is a simple blend composed of only two beans; each exceptional as single origin shots. First there is the Brazil Natural Yellow Bourbon from Fazenda Cachoiera. It has been African bed dried and to me it is full of natural sweet notes. Complex and heady, it can be interpreted as citrusy sweet, or maybe even floral (perhaps orange blossoms). The other coffee is a blended origin from the northern parts of Sumatra, in the Aceh and Lintong provinces near Lake Tawar. It too is sweet, but it gives the espresso a little more body and an interesting spiciness in the finish. The spice isn’t obvious or prevalent. It is more like an after-aftertaste. It reminds both me, and our head roaster Jayson of perhaps cardamom.

I really enjoyed these coffees together. They were complex, and tasty, without the hard bitter finish that some espressos bring. This one without fail finishes smooth. It makes you want to sip more. It is best enjoyed as a straight shot or in a simple coffee drink with a higher percentage of coffee in the beverage, like a traditional cappuccino, macchiato, or con panna.

I was very excited to offer this coffee which I worked so hard on to the judges of the Midwest Regional Barista Competition. I was interested to see what their thoughts on it were, and how they liked it in the combination drinks, like the cappuccino and my specialty drink. I really didn’t think going in that I had much chance of coming out on top. I was, after all, a first time competitor, and we have some great baristas and coffee companies in our area. I was excited just to make finals.

In finals I thought I was done for during my introduction because I knocked over one of my sugar bowls! I had to take the time to clean up the table, but it was costing me time. I was sure I was going to go over time. But I held it together, maintained my professionalism, and focused on making the best coffee drinks I could, and let my espresso do most of the work for me. Hearing my name as winner was exhilarating. I had to stop myself from jumping up and down. I felt that I had done well, but I didn’t know how well. It was also a bit of a relief knowing that my endless hours of practice with our Barista Team were worth while.

Now the team is gearing up for United States Barista Competition in Long Beach, CA this upcoming May. We took a couple of weeks off of practice, but now its back on. The PT’s team is looking forward to making a strong showing this year. We’re going to be busy the next couple of months polishing up our skills, going over the feedback that judges gave us at Midwest, and continuing to improve our craft. Regardless of results, you can be assured that our involvement in these competitions is providing you, the customer, with better baristas and better coffee to enjoy.


Robin Seitz

PT’s Coffee Co.
PO Box 19229
Topeka, KS 66619