Tag Archives: Barista

Jubala Village Coffee Turns Three!

Jubala Village Coffee

It’s hard to believe but it has now been three years since Jubala Village Coffee first opened their doors in North Raleigh’s Lafayette Village. Jubala’s arrival back in 2011 set the gold standard for 3rd wave coffee in Raleigh and remains one of my favorite places to enjoy a great pour over coffee or espresso. I’ve learned so much about coffee as a customer there and have enjoyed watching them grow these past three years. I’m excited for them as they mark their 3rd anniversary and even more excited to hear that they will be offering some very special menu items this week to celebrate!


I plan to stop by on Tuesday for the Birthday Cake Wafflegato! This is a twist on the traditional affogato (which means “drowned” in Italian). A typical affogato is a shot of espresso poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Just add a small piece of waffle to the mix and you have yourself a “Wafflegato” – I can’t wait to try one!


Over the years I’ve tried a lot of new drinks at Jubala, but my favorite drink by far is the cortado. Cortado means “cut” in Spanish. The drink is an espresso “cut” with milk. Typically in a 1:1 ratio of espresso and steamed milk served in a four ounce glass. Perfect for when you want something more than a macchiato but smaller than a latte.

Jubala Brew Bar

My favorite spot to sit at Jubala is the brew bar, right by the pour over station. Even when they are busy, the baristas always seem to find the time to share about the coffee they are brewing. I’ve learned so much about the Counter Culture Coffee they serve, the origins of their different coffee beans and the art of pour over brewing while sitting at this bar.

Iced Latte

So make sure you swing by Jubala this week wish them a happy birthday and try one of their special menu items. While you are there give a shout-out to barista and Jubala general manager Tim Jones. Tim is representing the Triangle in the US Barista Competition at the US Coffee Championships being held in Seattle this April. Go team Jubala!

Jubala Village Coffee
8450 Honeycutt Road – Raleigh, NC
website: http://www.jubalavillagecoffee.com
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JubalaVillageCoffee
twitter: @JubalaCoffee
instagram: @jubalacoffee


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Picture of the Week – Big Eastern!

Big Eastern Regional Barista & Brewers Cup

Tim Jones of Raleigh’s Jubala Village Coffee Competes at Big Eastern

This week’s picture captures some of the action that went down at the Big Eastern Barista & Brewers Cup regional coffee competition this past weekend at The Cotton Room in Durham. This event featured talented baristas from the entire east coast including a strong field of local competitors from the Triangle. I took the above picture while Tim Jones of Jubala Village Coffee in Raleigh was competing in the Barista competition. The huge crowd looked on while Tim presented his espresso drinks to the panel of judges. Tim did an incredible job and secured 4th place among the highly competitive field earning him a spot at the national barista competition to be held in Seattle this April. You can view the rest of my photos from The 2014 Big Eastern Barista & Brewers Cup Competition here.

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Big Eastern US Coffee Championships Come to Durham!

Big Eastern Coffee Championships

Image courtesy uscoffeechampionships.org

The Triangle is going to be the center of the east coast coffee scene this weekend. The “Big Eastern” US Coffee Championships will be held at the Cotton Room in Durham  this weekend (January 17th-19th). The event is hosted by Counter Culture and Dallis Brothers Coffee.

The event will be 3 full days of coffee competitions featuring the top baristas in the region.  It is FREE and open to the public.  I am volunteering at the event but will also have down time to watch the Barista and Brewers Cup competitions as local and regional baristas battle it out for the regional titles.

The Big Eastern encompasses 21 states across the eastern seaboard drawing baristas from up and down the coast. Competitors train months in advance. They spend countless hours developing their own “signature drinks” and presentation styles taking great care in selecting their coffees, brewing devices, music selection and perfecting their presentation techniques in hopes of impressing the judges and securing the regional title.

Local Shops & Baristas Competing
There are 13 local baristas registered for the event. Their competition times below are provided below. View the full schedule the “Big Eastern” competition here.

Triangle Barista Competitors:

  • Andrew Cash:  Jubala Coffee  1/17 @ 11:42
  • Tim Jones:  Jubala Coffee 1/19 @ 1:39
  • Steph Corona : La Farm Bakery 1/17 @ 11:23
  • Jen Hall:  Sola Cafe  1/17 @ 12:39
  • Dylan McFatrich:  Morning Times 1/17 @ 2:33
  • Katie Rant:  Sola Cafe 1/18 @ 5:27

Triangle Brewers Cup Competitors:

  • Helen Flowers:  Morning Times 1/17 @ 11:52
  • Brian Maiers:  Joe Van Gogh 1/17 @ 12:00
  • Miles Murray:  Carrboro Coffee 1/17 @ 12:08
  • Kyle Ramage:  Mahlkonig 1/17 @ 12:16
  • Josh Kimbrough:  Carrboro Coffee 1/17 @ 12:40
  • Jonathan Bonchak:  Counter Culture Coffee 1/17 @ 12:48
  • Trevor Patton:  Morning Times 1/17 @ 1:04

Watch Online Live
If you can’t attend the event in person you can still follow the action Live online all weekend long. Sprudge is broadcasting the event on livestream. Watch the BigEastern Livestream here.

Barista Competition Explained (From the Official Website)
“The regional coffee competitions include performances from professional baristas over a 3-day event. In a 15-minute presentation, competitors prepare and serve three courses of espresso based beverages to a panel of four sensory judges, two technical judges and one head judge. Competitors strive for a harmonious balance of sweetness, bitterness, acidity, and aromatics. A signature beverage is a highly innovative, freestyle espresso-based beverage created by the barista for the competition.”

Brewers Cup Explained (From the Official Website)
“The United States Brewers Cup is an exciting competition that highlights and celebrates the fine art of manual brewing. Competitors are judged in two rounds by skilled coffee tasters. The first round is a blind tasting, the competitors all brew the same coffee on their chosen manual deceives. Those who advance to the second round will brew and present their chosen coffee to the judges’ panel. The winner of the US Brewers Cup will represent the United States in the World Brewers Cup Championship.”

Event Details
Competition Dates: January 17th – 19th, 2014

The Cotton Room
807 E Main St,
Durham, NC 27701

For More Information
Follow the conversation on Twitter by following #BIGEASTERN


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Latte Art Throwdown at Jubala Village Coffee in North Raleigh ~ February 28th 7pm!


Local baristas pouring latte art

It is time once again to cheer on the Triangle’s most talented baristas as they put their skills to the ultimate test at the next Thursday Night Throwdown (TNT) latte art competition this Thursday, February 28th at 7pm. The event is hosted by Counter Culture Coffee and the great people at Jubala Village Coffee in Raleigh. As always, these throwdowns are a celebration of the local coffee culture and feature the areas best barsitas from the many great local coffee shops throughout the the Triangle. It is a friendly competition open to all (cost $5 to enter) and is free to watch.


Example of latte art: The Rosetta

What is a Latte Art Throwdown?

This is how it works: baristas put their names in a hat and are selected at random to go head to head creating espresso coffee drinks featuring identical latte art designs which are then compared against each other and judged by a three person panel made up of local coffee experts. Judging is typically based on four categories:

1) Aesthetic Beauty

2) Definition

3) Color Infusion

4) Degree of Difficulty and Creativity

photo 1

The New La Marzocco Strada Espresso Machine at Jubala Village Coffee!

The winner moves on to the next round to compete again until an ultimate champion is crowned. The purpose of a throwdown is to cultivate a coffee culture that respects presentation and quality – and of course having a fun time doing it! The winning barista not only wins bragging rights, but he/she also wins some great prizes! This month’s throwdown will be particularly special as baristas will be working with Jubala’s new espresso machine, the La Marzocco Strada! This machine is special in that it allows the baristas to manipulate the amount of pressure pushed through the coffee which can result in different qualities being pulled out of the bean leading to different flavors being expressed.


TNT Event Details

– Date/Time: Thursday February 28th 7-9pm

– Location: Jubala Village Coffee – 8450 Honeycutt Road – Raleigh, NC

– Open to the public

– $5 for baristas to enter the competition

photo 2

Cortado paired with Jubala’s famous biscuit & Big Spooners peanut butter!

Jubala Village Coffee Wins Square Wallet Challenge!
In case you missed it, earlier this month Jubala was announced as a winner of the Square Wallet Challenge by Visa. Jubala was one of only twenty small businesses in the US to win this award. Square Wallet is a moblie payment application for customers that enables them to find neighborhood businesses and pay using only their phone. Congratulations Jubala!

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Recap of the July Counter Culture Coffee “TNT” Latte Art Competition at Jubala Village Coffee

As many of you know I love to cover the local coffee scene on my blog. So I was honored to be asked to help judge the July Counter Culture Coffee Thursday Night Throwdown (TNT) latte art competition at Jubala Village Coffee in North Raleigh. I had a great time watching all my favorite local baristas battle it out in this friendly competition.

The purpose of these friendly throwdowns is to cultivate a coffee culture that respects presentation and quality and it is great opportunity for the local coffee community to come together and have a fun! Below are a few quick pictures from that the July throwdown at Jubala and a recap of the results.

Setting up the brackets!

At the start of the competition, the large chalk board at Jubala was converted into the throwdown bracket where each barista was listed against their competitor for the first round. Baristas had to battle through three rounds of head-to-head competition to make it to the final championship round.

Austin & Kyle of Jubala at the Espresso Machine

Soon after the event started the first names were called and the first two baristas took their places behind the espresso maker to start their “battle”. While the shots are pulled for them by the house barista, each competing barista is responsible for steaming their own milk. This is a crucial step in preparing to pour the best latte art possible.

Daniel of Jubala & Michael of Open Eye Cafe go head to head

Daniel of Jubala & Michael of Open Eye Cafe go head to head

Baristas free-pour the steamed frothed milk combining it with the espresso shot to create a swirled design in the cup which can feature hearts, tulips, rosettas, or the birdlike phoenix design.

Lem of Counter Culture

Lem Butler of Counter Culture carefully sets a latte under the projector

Once the baristas have completed their work, Lem Butler of Counter Culture positions the art under a mounted digital camera set up to a projector so the images can be projected onto the cafe’ wall for the audience to see.

Tulip Latte Art

Example of Rosetta Poured at TNT July 2012

The barista’s creations are presented to the crowd and judges where they are evaluated on several criteria including balance and symmetry, use of space, color contrast and definition, and overall impression. The entire score is based solely on appearance, not taste. Above is a nice example of a tulip poured back in July.

The Judges!

The Judges (from left to right: John Huisman, Scott Conary, & Andrew Cash)

Back in July I was humbled to judge alongside Andrew Cash, the owner of Jubala Village Coffee, and Scott Conary, the president of Carrboro Coffee. Both of these guys know way more about coffee and the intricacies of latte art than I do. Scott actually judges espresso on the international stage at such events like the WBC (World Barista Competition). However, despite my lack of experience they were both awesome and taught me a lot about espresso techniques and what to look for in a latte pour.

The crowd watches the battel unfold

The crowd watches the battel unfold

These events draw large crowds to cheer on their favorite local baristas and see the designs they create. After the art is judged the drinks are handed out to a few lucky customers to enjoy, so finding a spot close to the action along the bar can be a little tricky!

UNC-TV filming customer competing

UNC-TV filming customer competing

Even customers can get in on the action at these throwdowns. The events are open to the public and anyone can compete. All you need to enter is $5 and the courage to step behind the espresso machine!

Daniel Pouring

Daniel of Jubala has a steady pouring hand under the watchful eye of others

Of course, it can be a little stressful with the talented competition and so many people watching over you as you pour, but that didn’t seem to be an issue for Daniel of Jubala Coffee (pictured above).

Demitasse cups

More difficult pours in the smaller demitasse cups

As the competition ramps up and baristas are slowly eliminated the remaining competitors begin to take things up a notch by pouring their latte art into increasingly smaller and smaller cups. You see, the smaller the vessel, the more difficult it is to pour so creating a nice piece of latte art in a smaller cup will beat out of good poor in a bigger cup.

Blindfold Round!

Blindfold Round

The baristas are also thrown a few curve balls by the event organizers along the way. Like having to pour their lattes while wearing a blindfold or pouring “goofy style” meaning they have to pour the steamed milk using their non-dominate hand (like using your left instead of your right and vice versa). These extra challenges can make for some interesting latte art creations!

Kyle & Katie of Jubala - 1st & 2nd Place!

Kyle & Katie of Jubala Village Coffee

In the end, barista Kyle Ramage of Jubala was the victor of the July 2012 TNT. He had some very stiff competition from Katie, a fellow barista at Jubala. Katie poured some incredible designs and is sure to be a strong contender for the title at the next TNT in August.

The final results!

Final Results

The July TNT champion had t0 maneuver their way through a sea of talented baristas to claim the title that night. The rest must now wait another month for the next challenge to showcase their skills once again. Fortunately for them, the next latte art throwdown will be tonight (August 30, 2012) at Sola Coffee & Cafe at 7705 Lead Mine Road North Raleigh. The competition begins around 7pm.

I had an absolute blast helping to judge the throwdown. If you haven’t been to one of these before you should definitely check one out, they are a lot of fun. Hope to see you there! Visit my flickr photo album for more of my pictures from the July 2012 TNT Latte Art Throwdown at Jubala.

August TNT event Details
– Date/Time: Thursday August 30th,  7-9pm
– Location: Sola Coffee – 7705 Lead Mine Road – Raleigh, NC
– Free admission
– Open to the public
– $5 for baristas to enter the competition


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