The U.S. Barista Competition will be held April 15-18 during the festivities of this year’s Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Annual Expo. Due to the Southwest Barista Competition being canceled this year, 5 spots in the preliminary rounds of the U.S. Barista Competition were held open for the Southwestern Region to send competitors. Cartel Coffee Lab is sending three baristas – Ashley, Jen, and Melissa. This week at Cartel Coffee Lab downtown we are holding a Barista Jam to raise support and awareness for barista competitions. The jam starts at 6pm and will go into the night! We welcome coffee shops, coffee enthusiasts, and coffee friends from all over the state to join us this Thursday night at our downtown location. Other valley baristas are welcome to come give our Synesso Hydra a hand and participate in the informal latte art throwdown. There will also be a DJ at the event. The girls will be accepting donations to help cover their expenses for competing (yes, it costs money to compete) and travel. — Brian Clemens, of Cartel Coffee Lab, provided this announcement.