The Southeast Regional Barista Competition just concluded this weekend at the King Plow Arts Center, and Octane Coffee Bar & Lounge left the competition wallowing in milk foam.
Baristas Danielle Glasky and Crystal Rodgers placed first and second and will head to the nationals in Portland, Oregon, in three weeks. (Barista Joshua Flail was also a finalist.)
The contestants each had 15 minutes to make four espressos, 4 cappuccinos and 4 non-alcoholic specialty drinks, and then discuss their coffee with the judges.
The Southeast regionals pitted 17 contestants from 10 Southern states; Atlanta was well represented on that list.
Nonetheless, Octane serves what I think is the best espresso in the city, and I’ve looked far and wide. It has a beautiful crema on top, a weightiness on the tongue and a tasty integration of bitter and roasted flavors. (That sounded kinda pretentious, didn’t it?) The brewed coffee (French press, made in small batches throughout the day) is terrific as well.