Highlights from the 3rd Annual Cold Brew Throwdown

We can’t believe another Cold Brew Throwdown has come and gone. We want to say a huge thank you to all who came out and competed or tasted! For those of you who couldn’t attend or those just wanting to relive all the good times, be sure to check out our highlights from the night below!

With a total of 9 competitors, there was ample cold brew to go around. All competitors showed up with their a-game and served up some killer cold brew. With drinks ranging from the sweet and creamy to fruity and refreshing, our competitors really showed the full range of coffee pairings. 

The night kicked off with our esteemed panel of judges tasting each competitors straight and signature cold brews. They then scored each competitor based on originality, balance, taste, and overall presentation. When all was said and done, the judges had crowned our First, Second, and Third place winners. These top competitors showcased thoughtful and flawless execution of both drink preparation and service presentation.  

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Amy and Hayes McPherson, owners of Comeback Coffee, snagged First Place with a delicious Orange Cream Soda. Made with a beautiful washed Colombia coffee, fresh orange, and oat milk; this drink was everything of our summery coffee dreams. Be sure to stop by Comeback Coffee to taste this drink for yourself — they just added it to their regular menu for all to try!

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In second place, we have City & State staffer and manager, Chris Fuse. Chris’ passion for coffee, flavor, and people certainly helped him snag this top spot. His signature drink combined fresh pineapple juice, jalapeño, and a fruity cold brew. The sweet and spicy beverage definitely made an impression with judges and attendees alike. Be sure to visit Chris at our Germantown pop-up early this fall, but in the meantime you’ll find him making coffee and selling all the retail goods at the OG C&S.

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Rounding out the top three is Ethan Scott w/ Vice and Virtue. Ethan showcased the beautiful roasting skills of Vice & Virtue in a coffee forward, refreshing lime signature. The simplicity of a lime syrup, sparkling water, and awesome cold brew impressed the judges with it’s flawless execution. Make sure to follow Vice & Virtue on social to follow along with all the exciting news as they prepare to open their first cafe! Until then, you can find their coffee carried and served all over Memphis.

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Apart from our scored judging, over 150 people showed up to taste and judge all the coffees. After going through and getting to try all of the various different drinks and coffees, we asked each to pick their favorite straight cold brew and signature drinks. We then tallied all of these votes to arrive at our People’s Choice Winner. This year, that prize went to Austin Upchurch!

Austin has not only competed in our Throwdown every year, but he has also placed each time. He is the perfect example of a home brewer killing the game. His creativity and skill stood out with his lime foam topped cold brew that snagged him this coveted spot. 

We couldn’t be more thrilled with how the day went and wanted to thank all who came out or competed. It was a amazing evening full of coffee talks, music from local DJ, a craft cocktail tasting from Kirby Davis, popsicles from MemPops, and tacos from El Mero. 

Special shout out to our wonderful judges

Whitney Hardy of Young Arts Patrons 

Cara Greenstien of Caramalized Blog 

Bartholomew Jones of Cxffee Black 

Stacey Greenberg of Edible Memphis 

A huge thank you to all of our competitors who took out lots of time and effort to come out and compete. 

Christopher Bright

Natalie Steele 

Hosanna Stablein 

Ethan Scott

Chris Fuse 

Hayes McPherson 

Nicholas Nolen

Jospeh Jenkins

Austin Upchurch 

And of course, last but not least, we have to thank all our our wonderful sponsors who helped donate fantastic prizes and swag for all. 

Intelligentsia 

Barista Magazine 

Espresso Parts

Fellow Products 

Anchorhead Coffee 

Sweet Bloom 

Sunergos 

Belltower Artisans 

Vice & Virtue