COMPETITIONIt’s that time again. The PT’s Coffee Roasting Co.’s competition training team has started practice…as of last weekend. This year’s competition schedule is a bit crunched as the World Barista Championship will be held with the SCAA Annual Conference this April (in Atlanta, GA). What that means for U.S. competitors is that the SCAA’s United States Barista Championship will be held as a stand-alone event at the beginning of March in Portland, OR. For more information about this year’s SCAA Competition schedule visit this site.As for us, I am a firm believer that discipline and determination are integral to our competition practice schedule. As the last two years have shown, our training program seems to be working, with consistently finishing in second place at the USBC. We are excited, this year, to see how far we can go this time. We already added the WBC modifications to our Aurelia in our training room and spent the early part of the day getting acquainted with the equipment. The Nuova Simonelli Aurelia is a machine that we have been selling for the last few years and became fast friends with. The staff of the company alone has been wonderful to work with. They are incredibly helpful and all levels of the company are very accessible. The machine itself produces awesome espresso shots with incredible color and is very user friendly. I have been very pleased with my overall experience with it. If you have been skeptical about this machine I suggest you give it a fair chance and prepare to be impressed.So what now? It’s time to get our noses to the grind stone. There will be drills, tasting, signature drink troubleshooting, more drills, and so on. As we get further into the season I will give some updates and introduce the 2009 training team. In the mean time, Coach Holly will be cracking the whip and getting these baristas into shape!More updates later,Holly