Minneapolis, MN, May 6, 2008 PT’s Coffee Roasting Co.’s Pete Licata, of Overland Park, Kan., placed 2nd in the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s 7th Annual United States Barista Championship. The competition was held at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minn. Competitors from across the nation fought for the industry-wide acclaimed title of 2008 SCAA United States Barista Champion.During the contest, competitors are judged by coffee experts on the preparation of espresso shots, cappuccino, and a unique signature drink of their own design; adding a host of new recipes to the industry in the process. During the intense 15 minutes of performance each competitor must make four of each type of beverage, serve them with poise, and explain their coffees and processes to a panel of seven judges. In addition to style and taste, the technical aspects of the work, such as how well they know their equipment and how consistently they prepare their espresso, are heavily weighted into the final scores. Sixty baristas vied for the title. Among the competitors were 10 current regional competition winners, two former winners, and the previous United States champion. Licata, as well as all four of his teammates, chose to feature PT’s La Bella Vita espresso blend in all of their courses. La Bella Vita helped Pete Licata win 2nd place in the 2007 United States Barista Competition and is used in all of PT’s retail stores.Pete Licata is currently a barista at PT’s Coffee Co.’s Jayhawk Central retail location at 125th and Quivira in Overland Park. He has been a barista for five years and is the reigning 2008 SCAA Midwest Regional Barista Champion as well as former champion in 2005. See Pete’s Semi-final performance!