It all comes down to this. After a grueling five-month season fighting through pourer’s elbow and waggler’s wrist, the finals of the Portland Coffee Social Club is here. The Big Show, the Barista Series Series© Grand Finale. The final 16 have been set (it’s actually 20 thanks to six-way tie for 15th), and they are all in the hunt for the grand prize, a brand new La Marzocco Linea Mini. And on Friday, October 4th at Good Coffee’s Slabtown location, the plant- and/or nut-based cream will rise to the top.

Sponsored by Pacific Foods—with our ole friends Sprudge serving as the official media sponsors—the Barista Series Series© Grand Finale is a free-to-attend event that continues in the tradition of the five leading up to it: it’s an alternative milk throwdown. Soy, almond, coconut, oat, all have been featured at an event leading up to Friday, and they are all on the table as potential espresso-go-with options. The tournament is bracket-style, meaning head-to-head battles; to advance you have to pour better than the barista across the bar from you… and do it again and again and again. On the other side, though, is a customized Linea Mini provided by Pacific Foods (with an assist fro La Marzocco).

The final competitors are:

Vivian Moss – Oracle
Jacob Dempsey – Either/Or
Justin Boek – The Hoxton
Corbin Gronvold – Stumptown Coffee
Christian Fong – Good Coffee
Niko Horaites – Coava Coffee
Daniel Nikodem – Heart Coffee
Jordan Casner – Woodlawn Coffee and Pastry
Dan Dionne – Oracle
Gerardo Gallegos – Extracto
Wes Cantrell – Independent
Morgan Eckroth – Tried & True
Anthony Frey – Sisters
Ale Dempsey – Stumptown Coffee
Emma Reeves – Push X Pull
Josh Berntsen – Good Coffee
Kaitlin Muse – The Hoxton
Aaron Coe – Elevator
Justin Stanton – Sisters

But it’s not just the finalists who are able to take home some sweet prizes. The Portland Coffee Social Club will also be holding an alternative milk triangulation challenge that is open to all. Here’s how it works: there will be a total of five different sets of three cups. Three of the triangles will use the same coffees, with two of the cups having a certain alternative milk and the third having a different alternative milk. Folks must choose the outlier. For the other two triangles, the alternative milks will remain static but the coffees will be the differentiator. The person that picks the most cups correctly in the least amount of time takes home the cash prize.

It all gets started at 6:00pm on Friday, October 4th at Good Coffee’s Slabtown location. For more information on the Barista Series Series© Grand Finale, visit their official website.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

Top image via the Portland Coffee Social Club

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