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.

Arizona Coffee

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  1. MikeFTrevino

    Congratulations to both Jason’s who competed. My hat’s off to you gentlemen.

  2. Todd

    Man – that is really cool!! It gives me hope that someday I’ll be able to participate in an event like this without being employed ‘in the industry’. Way to go!!!

  3. Jason,
    If you need a place to practice you can come up to Goodyear and we’ll work with you. Also, if you are ever interested in a job in the “coffee industry”…we’re always looking for good baristas.

  4. Jc

    Thanks sean If anything I would love to come visit and check out your shop.

  5. SC

    Congratulations! I am so happy for you. Good Luck in Minneapolis. I am looking forward to trying your coffees.

  6. Hey, let me know if there is anything we Tucsonans can do to help you on your way. Like, lend you a Major, turn you on to a buddy who’ll roast a blend of your design for you, let you play on his commercial machine, give you feedback on your espresso pulls ; >, whatever.
    Great job representing the ‘hood! BTW, when you gonna take up one of the local shops and turn it into your legacy?

  7. dwil

    Jason obviously makes the BEST coffee & he is sooooo cute. Barista #1 in my book already. I can’t wait until I know what shop he works at or owns… I’ll be there w/ big shiny bells on waiting to get my hands one of those blood-orange coffee drinks – YUMMMMMMY!!!

  8. Jc

    dwil your a dork but I love you! ha ha

  9. Jc

    hey thanks psyd I wanna open my own shop soon prob gonna do a mobile one first and then cafe. what shop does your friend roast and work at?

  10. JC – I’d like to extend an invite here to Caffe luce in Tucson…(located @ park and university)..always look forward to meeting others that share the passion/obsession for the art that is coffee preparation!

  11. ^^^ Is a good offer. Pulling on his GB5 isn’t gonna hurt the practice any. My buddy homeroasts, on a Behmor 1600. Micheal and Marty could probably come up with a competition roast for you, so chat them up about supporting you for a USBC run! I’ll be happy to donate the use of my spare Mazzer Major so you can put small doses of whatever you need to in it and not interrupt the usual flow at the Luce. Lemme know when you decide to get the cart going, and what you’re going to need. I have some parts and pieces of kit that I’m not using, and you can spend the money you save on the machine. Oh, you’ll figure out a way to repay me, I’m sure ; >
    Get thee to Luce and play. We need a Tucsonan to take the WBC this year!

  12. Jc

    Hey thanks Psyd I just talked to marty this morn and gonna go play before the USBC. I have the cart being made right now and it prob be done in 3 weeks.

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