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Licata tops at regional barista contest


In two coffee industry firsts this past weekend in Los Angeles, Pete Licata of Honolulu became the first representative from Hawaii to win the Western Regional Barista Competition and also the first-ever to prevail at any barista competition using 100% Hawaiian coffee.

Licata’s espresso blend of three coffees included two 100% Kona coffees from Hula Daddy Coffee of Holualoa and a third originating from Maui.

“We congratulate Pete for his masterful performance,” said Kalena Jue, owner of Hula Daddy Coffee. “By besting Californian baristas that have historically dominated national barista competitions with coffees from Africa and Latin America, Pete has shown that there is a new generation of espresso expertise being grown right here in Hawaii.”

The Western Regional Barista Competition is one of 10 events organized by the Specialty Coffee Association of America that lead to the United States Barista Championship in Anaheim this April. In each event, baristas prepare espressos, cappuccinos and original signature drinks to exacting standards for a panel of judges.

One winner from the national championship will represent the U.S.A. at the World Barista Championship in London this June.

Hula Daddy Kona Coffee is a boutique estate located above the town of Kona, Hawaii on the slope of Mount Hualalai volcano. All of the coffees offered by Hula Daddy are grown on its private 34-acre plantation.

In 2008, coffee reviewer Ken Davids awarded Hula Daddy’s Sweet Kona Light coffee an historic 97-point score, making it one of the three highest rated coffees in history and the highest-ever rated Hawaiian coffee.

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