MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The nation’s top espresso-makers battled it out Monday to be called best-of-the-best, but it was Kyle Glanville of Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea who took home top honors. Glanville won the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s (SCAA) highly competitive 2008 United States Barista Championship (USBC), hosted by Krups. The heated competition took place at SCAA’s 20th Annual Conference & Exhibition, May 2 – 5 in Minneapolis, Minn. SCAA is the world’s largest coffee trade association, and Krups, the title sponsor of the event, is a leading manufacturer of premium home espresso and coffee machines.

As the industry’s most watched contest for coffeehouse professionals, the USBC encourages and recognizes achievement in the art and skill of espresso-drink preparation and service.

During the competition, the nation’s best baristas created some of the world’s finest coffee concoctions. Challengers prepared and served 12 orders–four espressos, four cappuccinos and four original signature drinks of their own creation–all within a 15-minute timeframe. As they readied their coffee beverages, contestants engaged the audience and explained their actions and selections while expertly working the competition’s official espresso machine, a three-group La Marzocco.

Seven USBC-certified judges, including one head judge, two technical judges and four sensory judges, carefully evaluated and scored each of the contenders. Judges focused on station cleanliness, taste, beverage presentation, technical skills and total impression.

As the 2008 United States Barista Champion, Glanville received the highest national honor for a barista, a trophy, $1,000 in cash, and an all-expenses paid trip to the 2008 World Barista Championship in Copenhagen, Denmark, June 19 – 22, 2008, hosted by the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe and held at its “Wonderful Coffee” event.