Barista Champion to Be Revealed from Among Nationwide Competitors; The Specialty Coffee Association of America's 2006 United States Barista Championship, Hosted by Krups, Takes Place April 7-10 in Charlotte, N.C.

SCAA 2006
LONG BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 1, 2006--The Specialty Coffee Association of America's United States Barista Championship (USBC), hosted by Krups, will present masters of the espresso machine from around the country competing for the coveted title. Round One of the intense four-day competition begins April 7 in Charlotte, N.C. at the Charlotte Convention Center. The event concludes with a final round featuring the top baristas in the nation, followed by a championship crowning, both on April 10. The U.S. Barista Championship encourages and recognizes professional achievement in the art and skill of espresso beverage preparation and service. SCAA, the organizer of the event, is the world's largest coffee trade association with more than 3,000 member companies from more than 40 countries. Krups, a leading manufacturer of premium home espresso and coffee machines and a global leader in home espresso, returns for its third year as title sponsor of the event.

For the 2006 USBC, the most skilled and adventurous baristas from around the country will converge in Charlotte to battle for the highly desired title of U.S. Barista Champion. Over the four-day competition, they will demonstrate the art of espresso and create some of the world's finest coffee concoctions. Competitors will race through a maze of judges and photographers while maintaining composure as they prepare and serve 12 coffee drinks -- four espressos, four cappuccinos and four original signature drinks of their own creation -- all within a 15-minute timeframe. The official espresso machine used by competitors in the 2006 United States Barista Championship is a 3-Group La Marzocco.

Seven USBC-certified judges, including one head judge, two technical judges and four sensory judges, will evaluate each of the competitors. Judges will focus on station cleanliness, taste, beverage presentation, technical skills and total impression. Last year's winner, 2005 U.S. Barista Champion Phuong Tran of Lava Java coffeehouse in Ridgefield, Wash., will evaluate her peers while taking a seat as a judge for the upcoming event.

The new U.S. Barista Champion for 2006 will receive the highest national honor, a trophy, $1,000 in cash and an all-expenses paid trip from his or her hometown to the 7th Annual World Barista Championship (WBC). The WBC takes place in Berne, Switzerland, May 19-21, 2006. All participants of the upcoming United States Barista Championship will receive the latest home espresso machine from Krups, the XP 4050, valued at $300.00.

United States Barista Championship (USBC) Schedule of Events:

-- Friday, April 7 -- Round One, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

-- Saturday, April 8 -- Round One cont., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Semi-Finalists announced, 7-7:30 p.m.

-- Sunday, April 9 -- Semi-Finals, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Finalists Announced, 7-7:30 p.m.

-- Monday, April 10 -- Finals, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

-- Champion Award Ceremony -- Monday, April 10, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

For additional information, please contact the Specialty Coffee Association of America at 562-624-4100 or e-mail info@scaa.org.

About the SCAA

Founded in 1982, SCAA is the world's largest coffee trade association with over 3,000 member companies. SCAA members are located in over 40 countries and represent every segment of the specialty coffee industry, from coffee growers to coffee roasters and retailers. The SCAA's mission is to be the recognized authority on specialty coffee, providing a common forum for the development and promotion of coffee excellence and sustainability. The SCAA's dedication to excellence in coffee is realized through the setting of quality standards for the industry; conducting research on coffee, equipment and perfection of craft; and providing education, training, resources and business services for members. The SCAA's annual conference is held in a different U.S. city each year and is the coffee industry's largest gathering and exhibition.

About Krups

Manufacturer of a wide spectrum of premium home espresso and coffee machines, Krups is present in more than 100 countries and millions of kitchens around the world. The Krups heritage of precise German-engineered small appliances provides bold European design at the highest level of technical perfection and performance. In Fall 2006, Krups, working with leading European designers, is launching an entirely new line of semi-automatic espresso machines for the home coffee expert. For more information, visit www.krupsusa.com.

Note to Editors: Baristas and coffee industry experts are available for interviews. Press RSVP to akiel@akprgroup.com.

Contacts

Specialty Coffee Association of America
Mike Ferguson, 562-624-4100
mferguson@scaa.org
or
Aaron Kiel, 562-983-8113
akiel@akprgroup.com
or
Krups Media Contact:
Sara Denny, 646-654-3434
sdenny@nikecomm.com

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