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Upcoming barista competition will raise money for Habitat for Humanity

When Marcus Karaffa does something, he likes to dream big.

“My philosophy is if we want to make the world a better place, we can do it through the avenue of business and through the avenue of entrepreneurship and empowering people,” the Caravan Coffee Sales and Development coordinator said. “From my experience working in the church and working for nonprofits, I found that often times it’s not the most effective way to invest in bettering the world and I wanted to be a part of change.”

So even though initially he brushed the idea off, he has high hopes for the upcoming Barista Show-Down, which benefits the Newberg Area Habitat for SUBMITTED - Competing for a good cause - For the second year, baristas will compete in Caravan Coffee's Barista Show-Down for the winning title and to raise money for Newberg Area Habitat for Humanity.

“I thought more about it and that’s actually a really brilliant idea,” he said. “It just started to snowball after that.”

The first showdown took place last year and has grown into a larger affair this year.

“More sponsors, more people (involved),” Karaffa said. “We did Willamette Valley Cancer Foundation last year, which was really great, but we wanted to go a little bit more local here to Newberg. The Newberg Area Habitat for Humanity it just a great name in the community. They pull a lot of people in so it’ll be a good opportunity.”

The competition itself will include six to eight local baristas, being judged on a shot, cappuccino and a specialty drink.

“It can be whatever they want it to be. Then they’re scored similarly to World Barista Championship scoring,” he said.

The two judges — Marcus Young, who is certified as a WBC judge, and Paul Allen, Caravan roastmaster who also holds a Q-Grader’s license — will announce the winners at the end of the six-hour event after each competitor has 30 minutes to complete their beverages.

For viewers, there will be local wine, beer and food, in addition to coffee.

“People come in, they pay $12 and they get a couple drink tickets,” Karaffa said. “All of our sponsors have been able to provide enough money to cover the costs of the event so that $12 goes straight into Habitat for Humanity. People can donate more, people can donate less. Some people donated $100 last year for a ticket so it just depends on how much you want to.”

It’s through these donations that Karaffa has high hopes.

“I think I would be happy if we raised $5,000. I’d be over the moon if we raised $10,000,” he said. “I think we could raise $5,000 though. I think what I’d really like to see more than money is people to volunteer with Newberg Area Habitat for Humanity.”

The group will have a booth at the competition with information and additional donation opportunities. All said and done, Karaffa said it’s just going to be a “fabulous event.”

“It’s just going to be a really, really fun time,” he said.

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