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Have a cup of America's best espresso

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No one can dispute it now. North Central Washington has some of the hottest coffee around. Not hot, as in temperature, but hot as in popular. At least, the judges at Coffee Fest in Seattle last weekend think so. They picked Twisp's very own Blue Star Coffee Roasters as America's Best Espresso based on flavor complexity, mouthfeel and appeal, and aftertaste. The Worm isn't exactly sure what mouthfeel is, but she knew she was onto something good when she stopped in at Blue Star's roasting facility last month. It's within walking distance of King's Tire in Twisp, where her car was getting a new set of treads. The Worm was impressed enough with the experience to buy a 12-ounce bag of their Guatemala Magnolia, labeled as roaster's choice, and one that contributes to Trout Unlimited's Washington Water Project. Meg Donohue, co-owner of Blue Star, calls their America's Best title, "invaluable." It makes this Worm want to go back for more. At the same competition but in a different division, Chaz Cox, barista and service manager for Wenatchee’s Caffé Mela, made it to the semi-finals in the Latte Art World Championships. Cox went up against 64 late artists from as far away as Japan, Australia and France. "It was down to 18 of us," Cox said of the last round. "I thought I poured really well, but the judges were just looking for something a little different," he said. Cox went for a complex design, but noticed the judges picked baristas who went with simple designs, and put more into their pouring methods. "My plan for the next one is to do it simple, but really well," he said. Next time, as in New York and Los Vegas. The World's gowedia has a great video showing Chaz at his work called After Hours, by Voortex Productions.

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