Country's best baristas hit up Kansas City to compete - KCTV5 News

Country's best baristas hit up Kansas City to compete

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Starting Friday, Kansas City will be brewing.

The Specialty Coffee Association of America Regional Championship is going on all weekend with the coffee baristas and roasters coming from all over and one Kansas City competitor said he's hoping to bring home the national trophy.

For 10 years Kansas City native Pete Licata has been a barista, the man behind the counter making people's coffee.

"Since I've moved to Hawaii and now have come back I have seen this great growth of the coffee community in Kansas City," he said.

After five years away, Licata came home to be the quality assurance manager for Parisi Artisan Coffee and he knows quality. Licata is the 2011 National Barista Champion and world runner-up. But he isn't one to gloat.

"I always try to keep a level head and really encourage the other competitors," he said.

During the Big Central Regional Barista Competition, each competitor will have to serve three drinks: an espresso, a cappuccino and a signature drink. They are judged by sensory judges and technical judges.

"We have the entire center of the country coming together here in Kansas City," Licata said.

The competition will feature newcomers and a former national champ.

"There is always a little bit of nervousness in competition no matter how experienced you are," he said.

Licata plans on this being his last year competing in the barista competition.

"I started competing in Kansas City and so I'd like to finish competing in Kansas City," he said.

But that doesn't mean he's finished with the entire competition circuit. Licata plans to start competing in the Brewer's Cup next year.

The competition runs Friday through Sunday at The Guild KC, located at 1621 Locust Street in Kansas City, MO. The winner advances to the national competition in April in Boston.

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