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Chicago takes 2009 U.S. Barista Championship

March 9, 2009 |  3:08 pm

A design made in the foam of a latte. Los Angeles Times Chicago coffee-slinger Michael Phillips edged out Los Angeles' Nick Griffith by 11 points to win the 2009 United States Barista Championship. Held over the weekend in Portland, Ore., the competition pitted baristas from around the country against each other in a test of skill, speed and style.

Like the other finalists, Phillips had to prepare four espressos, four cappuccinos and four specialty drinks. He did it well enough to win a trophy, $1,000 and a trip to the World Barista Championship in Atlanta, April 16-19.

Los Angeles made a strong showing. In addition to Griffith, who took second place, Ryan Wilbur and Devin Pedde won fourth and fifth place, respectively. But the real winner seems to be Intelligentsia Coffee, which counts four of the top five winners as its employees. For a more detailed account of the Barista Championship, head to Food GPS.

-- Elina Shatkin

Photo: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times