FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Northwest Arkansas will be represented at an international coffee competition in Australia this May.
Onyx Coffee Lab co-owner Andrea Allen and manager Elika Liftee will travel to Melbourne, Australia to compete for the title of World Barista and World Brewers Cup Champion, respectively.
The pair took first place in each category at the U.S. Coffee Championships in California in February. It was the first time in the competition’s history a company has taken first place in both categories, according to a release from Onyx.
The 2020 United States Barista Champion, Allen is an Arkansas native and the co-owner of Onyx Coffee Lab. The company says she’s now the most-awarded competitive barista in the country.
“I’m just excited I get to go and be the person that gets to talk about the coffee culture in the states and present coffees to an international panel of coffee professionals,” Allen said.
Liftee, the Brewers Cup Champion, has been a manager, barista trainer and brewer at Onyx Coffee Lab.
“I really love that I’ve been able to be a part of putting Northwest Arkansas on the map as far as like coffee tourism goes,” Liftee said.
The company celebrated the win at the 1907 Building in downtown Rogers on Wednesday.
“Our hopes of doing well were surpassed by victory on two stages. Both Andrea and Elika are dedicated examples of where hard work and innovative thinking can take us,” the company said.
The World Barista Championship and World Brewers Cup begins May 4. Allen and Liftee will compete against more than 50 international champions from competing nations.
World Barista Championship judges evaluate each performance “on the taste of beverages served, cleanliness, creativity, technical skill, and overall presentation. The ever-popular signature beverage allows baristas to stretch their imagination and the judges’ palates to incorporate a wealth of coffee knowledge into an expression of their individual tastes and experiences.”
In the World Brewers Cup, competitors serve judges three individual beverages, utilizing whole bean coffee provided to them by the competition. The event ” highlights the craft of filter coffee brewing by hand, promoting manual coffee brewing and service excellence.”
Onyx Coffee Lab started in 2012 and currently operates four cafes throughout Northwest Arkansas, including a new location at The Momentary in Bentonville. The company is known internationally as one of the United States’ premier coffee roasters.