Thanks to all who participated, volunteered, and helped put on the October 4 'spro down in chi' town, hosted by Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea. Thank you Doug Zell for your key note speech and thank you Mike Phillips (new great lakes chapter rep) for your orchestration and hospitality. Thank you Intelligentsia (Chicago, IL), Phoenix Coffee (Cleveland, OH), and Alterra Coffee (Milwaukee, WI), for sponsoring this to be a sanctioned Barista Guild of America event.

The 'spro down in chi' town was a smashing hit.

The continued list of thank you's, highlights, and happenings follows below:

* Turn out was great, we had around 50 people in house. An impressive show from as far as Kaldies (a crew of 9!) to Cleveland, Grand Rapids, Yipsilanti, Indianapolis. The Great Lakes Region stood up!

* We had amazing coffees to taste from 13 roasters.

* We had Jacob from La Marzocco there representing from SEA, a custom La Marzocco FB70 with preinfusion paddles and dedicated, PIDed boilers for each group. There was also the custom Intelligentsia Black Cat Mistral on hand, as well as a single group Synesso and the Intelly Training Lab Machines.

* We also had the pleasure to hang out with Ben from Nuova Simenoli. He was there representing the Aurelia, which is the SCAA and WBC's new competition machine for the next three years.

* We had a dedicated group of presenters and volunteers helping out set up, take down, and lead the workshops that were available to all.

* Sarah Kluth from Intelligensia led groups in cupping. Alexandria Switzer, Andy Atkinson, Dee Zeller, Scott Lucey led workshops in milk and espresso. Sarah Wilson-Jones and her Phoenix crew presetnted a triangulation challenge with ten different coffee from three different roasters. The Phoenix Coffee crew also presented a fabulous tea lecture, complete with the Chinese Gong Fu tea ceremony. We had Jamin Haddox from Cafe Imports there to give a great green coffee lecture which focused on moisture in green coffee and it's relation to storage issues. And thank you to Tony Dreyfus from Metropolis for his drip coffee lecture. Double thank you to Alexandria Switzer for getting all of us fed and satisfied.

* The applause-o-meter made it's debut in our latte art thowdown. The winner, Tayla Strader from Intelligentsia Broadway took first place honors winning a 4 piece, hand made mug set from the great Kendall and Jon Lewis as well as a LM poster set. The runner up, Andrew Grassmick was rewarded with a 2 piece mug set and LM interview book.

* Jesse Crouse from Intelligentsia Broadway held down a well patronized brew bar, brewing up some of our best coffees per order for Chemex, Eva Solo, or Syphon.

* We also had Blue Marble Milk in the house with a representative opening the door to us for farm tours. (go Wisconsin!)

* Thanks Matt Riddle for photo and video. There's a flickr group with photos of the event, thank you to contributers. [url]http://flickr.com/groups/871004@N24/[/url]


Thank you again to everyone. This was a great event.
Stay tuned to the SCAA and BGA for more upcoming events, like the skill building workshops taking place November 7-9 in North Carolina, hosted by Dilworth Coffee.

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Is there a way to get a copy of the outline from that weekend? We are trying to organize a Barista Jam down here in Dallas, TX and thought that might help. I was at the spro down in chi town and really really enjoyed it!

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