I’m pleased to be able to bring you an interview with the winner of the SWRBC. Jason Calhoon lives in Tucson, AZ and will be representing Arizona at the USBC this May. Chris Tingom: Thanks for being willing to answer some questions! First of all, can you tell us about yourself? Jason Calhoon: My name is Jason Calhoon and I was born and raised in Tucson. I have been researching the coffee industry for about 5 years now. My research became more serious for the last 2. I attended the American Barista and Coffee school in Portland last June for a week. I knew that I wanted to get into the coffee industry, so I wanted to learn everything I could. Do you work at a coffee shop in Tucson? I do not currently work at a shop nor have I ever worked at a Independent shop. Did you prepare a signature drink in Las Vegas? Can you tell us about it? In Las Vegas I used PT’S new espresso blend XV. It is their competition blend that they came up with and I really fell in love with it. I also enjoy Stumptown and Intelligentsia coffee. I actually didn’t decide to go to Vegas till Sunday evening around 8pm when I finally booked my hotel and flight. I flew out Monday around 2pm. I arrived in Vegas and headed to the convention center to try to get supplies for the competition. Everyone was still setting up their booths and no one was around to talk to so I headed to the hotel. The next day was first day of the competition, so I got up early and headed down there to find some supplies. I came across Jeff Taylor of PT’S coffee and he hooked me up with 5 pounds of their XV blend. For my signature drink, I started walking around looking for something to make at the last minute. I came up with a drink that consisted of a little dark chocolate in bottom of cup. I then extracted espresso on top of the chocolate and the steamed milk on top of that. I then top the drink off with a couple drops of blood Orange syrup. It was like a Orange mocha macchiato. It came out good, not as good as I would have liked but hey I put it together in 20 minutes. Are you planning to make the trip to Minneapolis for the Barista Championship? I plan on practicing a lot before I head to Minnesota. I also might go to Kansas and train at PT’S but I’m not sure yet. Winning has been awesome but very nerve racking knowing I’ve gotta get cracking for the championships. Thank you Jason for answering a few questions! Note: Jason uploaded a bunch of photos to his Flickr profile. All photos above are from Jason Calhoon. PT’s Coffee Roasters can be found at www.ptscoffee.com.