devin. how is it possible that you won’t win this? i’m finding it hard to imagine.

devin pedde was the first person i saw at the convention this morning, and as i tried to get my eyes to focus around the psychedelic carpet, he told me he had something new in store for his routine today. i didn’t want to know what and he didn’t tell me. but my hunch was always that if he could turn up his already incredible performance even one degree, he might slaughter this contest. and having watched it i think there are still blood and guts all over the convention floor.

devin’s routine thus far has always been based around the idea of involving the judges and audience in a live, interactive trip through a theoretical cupping sheet around his espresso, and today he has decided to get the judges involved. REALLY involved. as they drink the espresso he would like the judges to circle the flavor they taste most strongly, from the elements he has already articulated on a tray in front of them in small dishes to go into the infusion for his signature drink. he instructs the judges: “calbrate with me”, and once they’ve sampled the espresso—and once he’s pulled himself his own shot—he asks each sensory judge individually to TELL him what they tasted most. lani tastes cherry. into the infusion it goes. bob tastes cranberries, dan tastes earl grey tea, and holly tastes strawberries. devin adds brown sugar to enhance the port wine notes he’s picked up. i think i am about to cry and i look over and brent is crying. it’s moving and inspiring and true. devin keeps saying things like, “this is fun” and…is it ever.

then there’s the drama of the belgian brewer, which yesterday took its sweet-ass time getting the infusion syphoned into the second chamber. pedde takes no chances today, and once he’s waited long enough he grabs the butane burner from his vac pot and just holds it up to the belgian brewer next to its existing oil burner. it’s going to turn over “any minute now,” devin says. “i’m sure of it.”

and it does, and devin heads off to pull his final shots for the sig drink, singing along to the gay disco dance soundtrack kyle glanville lovingly curated for him. devin has time to make himself a signature drink, sample it with the judges, shake each one of their hands individually, including the techs, clean up, and call time with 21 seconds to spare.

not bad for a little something you came up with this morning, dp.

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