latte at Intelligentsia Coffee in Venice, Calif.

Here's an early afternoon pick-me-up. This past Sunday, Pete Licata of Honolulu Coffee Company beat out dozens of competitors to win the United States Barista Championships. The man who who won the 2011 Southwest Regional Barista Championship will go on to compete in the World Barista Championship, which will be held June 2-5 in Bogota, Colombia.

In a year where Intelligentsia (surprisingly) didn't dominate the top slots, local boy Nik Krankl of Gelato Bar, took 2nd place. In January, Krankl won the Intelligentsia Wholesale Barista Championship (IWBC) in Chicago. This time around, his weapon of choice was a peaberry coffee from Caracol-Finca Matalapa, El Salvador roasted by Ecco Caffe.

Michigan's MadCap made a strong showing with both the 3rd and 4th place finishers, while Caffe Medici of Austin, Texas and Ritual of San Francisco rounded out the finalists. Incredibly detailed notes on the 2011 USBC at this Tumblr blog.

1st place: Pete Licata, Honolulu Coffee Co., Hawaii

2nd place: Nik Krankl, Gelato Bar & Espresso Cafe, Los Angeles

3rd place: Ryan Knapp, MadCap Coffee, Grand Rapids, Michigan

4th place: Trevor Corlett, MadCap, Grand Rapids, Michigan

5th place: Lorenzo Perkins, Caffe Medici, Austin, Texas

6th place: Kevin Bohlin, Ritual, San Francisco

LA Weekly