Bonlife Coffee Roasters take out Golden Bean North America

The Golden Bean North America 2019 in Nashville Tennessee was a huge success for event organiser Cafe Culture International. The world’s largest coffee roasting competition had a total of 1,300 entries from 450 roasters from all around North America.

The competition took place at the Cambria Hotel in Downtown Nashville. The hotel catered for 200 guests over the four days of the competition. The event saw some of North America best Coffee Roasters compete for the prestigious rights of being the Grand Champion Roaster of North America.

A major feature of the event was the access to high end equipment that was used during the judging phase of the competition. Equipment used was Rancilio RS1 espresso machines, Optipure filtration, Puqpress tampers, Mahlokoniq EK43’s Grinders. Behmor Brewers were used in our largest category filter which had over 450 coffees entered. The success of the event would have not been possible without the support of our machine sponsors and the high number of volunteers behind the scenes brewing the coffees.

The Golden Bean has been running for five years in North America and Portland Oregon was our home base. We decided this year to move the event to give new roasters access to the competition and it was a big decision for us to change the location and move across the country to Nashville Tennessee. 

It was a great decision as the support this year for the Golden Bean was incredible with big numbers of Roasters attending. The Nashville coffee scene opened their arm’s to us and fully supported the event by attending, hosting and entering their coffees. A big thank you goes out to Stay Golden Coffee Roasters for letting us use their space to receive and admin coffees. 

The event had over 200 coffee roasters from around North America attend over the four days. We see our event to be a very valuable educational opportunity for the North American roasting community having the conference format attached in between judging sessions. This year we invited expert industry speakers who discussed numerous topics that roasters had requested in last year industry survey. We see this format of conference speakers growing at future Golden Bean events.

We all judged 1300 coffees over three days with the largest category being filter coffee which ran for the full three days of the competition. There was a special finals round for the filter coffees that were tasted by all four head judges in a blind knock out round to find the winner.

More educational workshops were presented on the Saturday morning before the Green Bean Zone with Head Judge Scott Angelo and Amy Duell explaining the importance on frequent green bean cupping for roasters. This workshop was a huge success as it was aimed at improving the roasters cupping skills and speeding up this weekly task. 

This years Green Bean Zone excited ten green bean companies and suppliers showcasing their products from around the globe. We observed priceless business being conducted during these special cupping sessions between Roasters and Green Bean companies. This part of the Conference is very important to connected roasters to new supply chains.

At the end of the Green Bean Zone we had a fun hour of Barista team competition, with the Cafe Creations Global Barista Challenge between Australia and North America. This competition was previously ran in Australia at the Melbourne Grand Prix in March. Unfortunately the North American team was defeated by the strong attending Aussie team. This fun competition showcased the new dairy and plant milk range from Cafe Creations.

To wrap up this years Golden Bean Awards night the theme was Country and Western at the Cambria Hotel Ballroom where we showcased the winning roasters of North America with a medal presentation. The attendees cheered on their fellow roasters and were entertained by duelling MC’s Steve Foye and Jen Hurd who also did a fabulous duet “Island in the Stream” at the opening of the awards.

Winning trophies were presented for the Small Franchise category which was awarded to Ohio based Roaster Crimson Cup, then followed by Large Franchise Category award which went to Canadian roaster Canterbury Coffee for the 2nd year running. 

The overall winner was Bonlife Coffee Roasters from Tennessee awarded to Jeremy and Erica Moore who were both there to accept the Reg Barber designed Trophy. 

Second Overall went to Terry Masikewich of Prairie Lily Roasters in Canada.

Reg Barber also was in attendance and he received this years prestigious Hall of Fame Award. It was a proud industry moment seeing Reg receive this award for outstanding achievement in his Global Tamper Business.

A big congratulations to all our North American Roasters who participated this year and helped us create such a successful competition with an avenue for coffee roasters to showcase their unique skills. If you did not place well in this years competition please keep trying because as this event grows so does the challenge to perform better. The feedback you get should be a good education on where your coffee sits in the national marketplace. Golden Bean Judges are your peers and all the feedback is honest and accurate. We have watched the growth of many roasters since we started the Golden Bean in North America and competition is a great way to improve your skills and your business knowledge.

We will be returning to Nashville next year so we are very excited to welcome more new roasters into our Golden Bean Family and show you the process of the world’s largest coffee roasters competition.

I big Thanks goes out to my USA Business partner from Fresh Cup Magazine Jan Weigel who plays a big part in the organising of this event. I would also like to thank all the Cafe Culture team who came across from Australia to help out with the operations of the competition.

Thank You
Head Bean
Sean Edwards

Quick Facts

1300 coffees entered

450 North American Roasters entered

Filter – 435

Milk – 272

Espresso – 254

Single Origin – 85

Medals for each Category (including tied points receiving medals) 1 Gold – 5 Silver – 15 Bronze

Overall winner – Bonlife Tennessee.

Franchise winner small – Crimson Cup Ohio

Franchise winner Large – Canterbury Coffee Vancouver CA

All your individual results can be viewed on your individual portal along with certificates

Medals will be sent out in the next 3 weeks (back order)

Stickers for medal winners are on sale!

Media Pictures of event contact

Low res art work for social media on Golden Bean website

Australian – New Zealand Golden Bean dates
19th to 23rd November 2019

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