USBC 2016, Carrying His Weight in Coffee, The USBC CHAMP and A Super Five

a door opens

For the spring of the 2016 calendar year, six finalists, worked their way through the Southern climate of Atlanta, taking the stage at the Georgia World Congress Center for the Specialty Coffee Championships  with coffees from around the world and across various processes. Their stories were personal, philosophical and of the spirit of a champion promoting his ideas in the context of one of the worlds most culture-sustaining beverages.

North Carolina’s own, and multi-regional barista champion and national coffee trainer, Lem Butler of Counter Culture Coffee and Verity Resins claimed the berth, forwarding the idea of his coffee – initially discovered by accident and buoyed by collaboration, to become excellence across espresso, milk and as a signature beverage. Indeed, earning what Butler called the Cadillac of coffees, his Finca Nuguo was called the ‘SouthernPlayalisticCadillacCoffee’.  Here’s a salute to a well deserved champ, his family and the culture that has made this win possible.  As he shed a tear, so does this culture.

Now, a resounding quote paired with their music set lists as I was able to hear and document it.


Lemuel Butler

Counter Culture Coffee

“Geshas are the Cadillac of specialty coffee.”

Coffee: A random bag showed up.

1. ‘Tears Might Fall’, Green Street

2. ‘Dododo’, Sir Victor Uwaifo and His Melody Maestroes

3. ‘Prototype,’



Andrea Allen

Onyx Coffee Lab

“Embracing naturals raises the floor of specialty coffee.”

Coffee: Pacamaras Natural, Las Margaritas

1. ‘Stones Under Rushing Water,’ Need to Breathe

2. ‘A Place Only You Can Go,” NTB

3. ‘More Heart Less Attack,’ NTB


Devin Chapman

La Colombe Coffee

“Great coffees are never by accident.”

Coffee: The caviar, EL Faldon & Matilde

1. ‘The One With The Tambourine,’ American Footbal

2. ‘B$&% Don’t Kill My Vibe,’ Kendrick Lamar

3. ‘Fade,’ Kanye West

4. ‘Love Like This,’ Ry X


Sam Lewontin



“As long as there is a market, great coffee improves the lives of everyone who touches them.”

Coffee: Tito Raúl Quelal

1. ‘Keep It Healthy’ Warpaint

2.‘Awake,’ Tycho

3. ‘Alt-J,’ Nara


Trevor Corlett

Madcap Coffee

 “The value is not in achieving perfection, but the effort we make to achieve it.”

1.‘Indian Summer,’ Jai Wolf

2.‘Lean On,’ Mo x Major Lazer

3. ‘Once in a While,’ Time Flies

4. ‘Lush Life,’ Zara L



Sam Schroeder

Olympia Coffee Roasting

“Specialty coffee isn’t limited to the farm. Without the consumer, there is no specialty coffee.”


1.‘Longshot,’ Miike Snow

2. ‘Kites,’ Geographer

3. ‘Genghis’ Khan, Miike Snow