Saturday, February 28, 2009

Great Lakes Barista Competition

On February 20-22, Chicago hosted Coffeefest, the National Latte Art Competition, and the Great Lakes Barista Competition. This exciting event was filled with baristas, roasters, coffee shop owners, and anyone else in the coffee world. If you are a coffee fanatic this was the place to be!
The most exciting part of the weekend was the Barista Competition where friends of Vienna Coffee Company, Les Stoneham, Courtney Robinson, and Logan Demmy competed. In this competition baristas have 15 minutes to make 4 espressos, 4 lattes, and 4 signature drinks for each of the 4 sensory judges while being judged by 3 other judges on technical skills and style. This is no easy task. The barista has control over everything including the music being played, the table decorations, the grinder, the milk, the ingredients, the espresso, etc. The only constant is the espresso machine.

Les Stoneham had the drink, barista skills, and style that blew the judges away getting him into the finals. (in fact his score puts him in the top 10 baristas in the nation!) His award-winning signature drink that will lead him to Portland for the National Barista Competition was comprised of espresso with reduced Cabernet grape juice and hazelnut cream infused with blue cheese smoked over hazelnut shells. His inspiration for this drink was the idea of using food pairings. For example, certain wines and cheeses are paired together to bring out all the right tannins and emphasize the taste. In the same vein he wanted to use the cheese, cream, and grape juice to bring out all of the nuances from his special espresso.

Les wasn't the only one that scored high in the competition. Former trainee, Courtney Robinson's technical skills and drink won her her best score out of the four previous times she has competed. Her signature espresso drink included blood orange simple syrup with soda water and espresso placed in a martini styled glass with a dollop of juniper berry whipped cream that is stirred into the drink by the judges. Her drink was not only great, but she also received almost perfect scores for her technical barista skills!

Logan Demmy, also trained by Les, shined in his first barista competition and scored exceptionally high! His drink of anise infused tapioca and espresso in a delicate glass and rimmed with cardamom and honey whipped coconut milk had strong marks by the judges. He definitely looked comfortable on the barista stage like he belonged there all along.

At this time we want to wish Les and Courtney the best of luck at Nationals!

If you have any questions about Coffeefest, barista competitions, latte art, or barista training please email us at

If you are looking for the weekly deal please look at last Thursday's post. That deal is still in affect this week.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

WEEKLY DEAL: Don't need to cry over spilled coffee...


In 1992, on this day, Stella Leibeck of Albuquerque, New Mexico, spills scalding coffee on herself, causing third degree burns. She is later awarded over a half million dollars in a case against McDonald's Corporation, which sold her the drink.

Answer this question True or False to any employee at the roastery and receive a sample 2oz pack of Vienna Coffee while you trying a cup of our brewed and perfectly temperatured coffee.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vienna Coffee Company at 5 Food City Stores

As of February 16th, 2009, Vienna Coffee Company will be selling 12 varieties of their coffee to 5 select stores in East Tennessee. Now, it's even easier to buy your favorite locally roasted, family owned coffee. If you are interested in buying VCC coffee at a Food City check at the following Food City stores:

1610 West Broadway Avenue
Maryville, TN 37801

7323 Chapman Highway
Knoxville, TN 37920

9565 Middlebrook Pike
Knoxville, TN 37931

300 Market Drive
Lenoir City, TN 37771

1199 Oak Ridge Turnpike
Oak Ridge, TN 37830

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Monday, February 16, 2009

WEEKLY DEAL: Coffee Fact

MULTIPLE CHOICE (if you answer the question correctly by telling an employee at the roastery you will recieve a free 2 oz sample pack of this month's flavored coffee special... Bavarian Chocolate)

Sweden's King Gustav III (1747-1792) committed the death sentences of twin convicted murderers to life imprisonment on the condition that one drink only _____ and the other only ______. The _______ drinker died first (at the tender age of 83) seemingly providing the health benefits of _______ and making Sweden one of the world's leading _______- drinking nations.

a. tea, coffee tea, coffee, coffee
b. coffee, wine, coffee, wine, wine
c. coffee, tea coffee, tea, tea
d. beer, coffee, beer, coffee, coffee

*We realize our live website is currently down at the moment. We are working on it and will have it up and running as soon as possible. We are sorry for any inconvenience! If you would like to order coffee or tea please call us at 865.681.0517 or email us at Thank for your patience!

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

WEEKLY DEAL: new roaster

VCC is very excited to announce the new roaster we have been talking about so much is now up and running! Paul Maxwell (left) from US roasters came by the roastery on Monday and trained Erin, Melissa (bottom), and John on the new machine. This is perfect time for you to come into the roastery and see it in action. In fact, if you come and do a tour of the new roaster this week you will recieve a FREE 2oz. sample pack of your choice that was probably roasted from that exact roaster. Please bear with us for a couple weeks as we are still experimenting with the roaster's capabilities. But we'd love to have you come and visit! You can call (865.681.0517) or email us at if you are interested in a tour!

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Coffee Vocab: AROMA

While tasting coffee one of the descriptor words is Aroma. But what exactly is aroma??

The bouquet of coffee plays a large part in perception of flavor; the olfactory nerve registers "dry aroma" through the nose and "wet aroma" through the back of the mouth as you taste.

For example if you were to drink Vienna Coffee Company's Ethiopian Longberry Harrar Horse you might be surprised by the aroma. It smells like you've just cut open a blueberry muffin with fruity, wine-like notes. Also, La Armonia Hermosa has light floral aroma, sweet chocolate, medium body and notes of spice in the finish.

This picture is from a tasting in Guatemala of our La Armonia Hermosa Coffee. If you will notice the man the on the left is smelling the coffee before he drinks it to get the full aroma "dry aroma" of the coffee.

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Monday, February 2, 2009

WEEKLY DEAL: Black History Month

February is Black History Month. In celebration of this month, answer the following question multiple choice question and receive a free 2oz pack of Vienna Coffee Company coffee.

In 1947, _________ was the first African American that was integrated into major league baseball.

a. Hank Aaron
b. Ken Griffey Jr.
c. Jackie Robinson
d. Bo Jackson

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