• Roast Masters

congrats to the ROAST MASTERS 2019 winner, elixr Coffee Roasters.


With a global outlook and a unique, fresh format, this cutting-edge tournament seeks to find, test and celebrate the best specialty coffee roasters on the planet.

Launched at the Amsterdam Coffee Festival 2019, The New York Coffee Festival 2019 hosted the second ever edition of global specialty roaster competition: Roast Masters™.  

25 of North America's most legendary roasters formed the line-up, battling head-to-head for the coveted Roast Masters™ title. The competition, formed of three disciplines over three days, showcased excellence in coffee roasting and espresso blending in a fast-paced, dynamic live setting.

Put through their paces by a panel of industry-leading judges, in front of a crowd, this is the ultimate test of skill, know-how, commercial aptitude and showmanship. This is a unique opportunity to excel in front of key industry players and an international audience. 





The very best roasters from across North America assembled together to showcase their skills in Roast Masters™ New York 2019. 

Get to know the 25 talented contenders here.



THE judges



Roast Masters judges Ben Kaminsky, Anne Lunnel, Alexandria Delancy and John Coyne.

From L to R: Ben Kaminsky, Anne Lunell, Alexandria Dancy and John Coyne.

Anne Lunell – Head Judge

Roast Masters Head Judge, Anne Lunell, is a Swedish Barista Champion, Brewers Cup Champion and the visionary behind Koppi, an internationally respected and well-loved coffee roaster in the Swedish town of Helsingborg, which she founded in 2007 with Charles Nystrand. Having been Head Judge of Coffee Masters – New York and London since their inception, and Roast Masters at The Amsterdam Coffee Festival in 2019, there’s no one more up to scratch on what it takes to be a Roast Masters champion.

Alexandria Dancy


As the Director of Education for Devocion USA, Alexandria extends her passion for coffee through tasting with her peers, teaching the story behind the bean and helping to educate the coffee drinkers on the unique approach Devocion takes to sourcing specialty coffee while helping to coordinate the buying of green coffee for their coffee program. 


Ben Kaminsky

Born and raised in San Francisco, Ben Kaminsky started working in coffee in 2006 in Cambridge, MA while attending university. Highly influenced by the coffee of George Howell and Mocca (later Kaffa, Oslo), at 23 he and his business partners started Barismo Coffee, a micro-roastery operating in the Boston area. After deciding to leave his active roll in the company in 2009, he took the newly created position of Director of Quality Control and Espresso at Ritual Coffee Roasters in San Francisco. Since leaving Ritual in 2012, he has been consulting full time on equipment and cafe design, barista training, roasting and sourcing, most notably with companies such as Market Lane and Sensory Lab in Melbourne AU, Saint Frank in San Francisco, Port of Mokha, Breville, and Tim Wendelboe in Oslo. He has lectured globally on coffee roasting and extraction theory and its greater implications to quality in the future of the coffee industry. Ben has coached competitors to success in the highest levels of barista competition, and as a competitor himself is the 2009, 2010, and 2011 United States Cup Tasters Champion.

John Coyne

John has been a Specialty Green Coffee Trader for over 12 years.  During his career he has been an active member of the NCA, SCA, Roasters Guild, and in 2018 he was elected to Arbitration Committee for the GCA for a one-year term. He was recently hosted at Cenicafe by the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC)  as a cupping Judge for the Colombian National Quality Competition in Pereira Colombia . He has been a licensed Q Grader since 2014 with the Coffee Quality Institute and holds a B.A degree in International Business. What excites him so about this industry is the collective commitment to quality, community, relationships, innovation, and partnerships throughout the supply chain. 




Erika Vonie

Erika Vonie is a veteran of the specialty coffee industry and reigning Coffee Master - New York. Recently appointed Director of Coffee at Trade, her near decade-long experience will come in handy as she takes on the challenge of Roast Masters MC.

Ezra Baker

Ezra Baker has worked in coffee for the last 12 years.  He has done everything from Barista to being Director of Retail of a New York Roasting Company. He has also been a competitive barista in the US Coffee Champs Circuit and has advised a few champions. Ezra is a recent Licenced Q Arabaca Grader who enjoys trolling food Instagram accounts in his free time.  Currently, Ezra is a Retail Manager at Stumptown Coffee Roasters in New York City. 

The Schedule 




11.15am-2.00pm | The Heats, Discipline 1

The Single Origin (Groups 1, 2 and 3)

2.15pm-6.00pm | The Heats, Discipline 2

The Espresso Blend (Group 1)



9.30am-2.00pm | The Heats, Discipline 2

The Espresso Blend (Group 2) 

2.30pm-6.15pm | The Heats, Discipline 2

The Espresso Blend (Group 3)


10.30am-11.15am  | The Final, Discipline 1

The Single Origin

12.45pm-3.20pm | The Final, Discipline 3

The Pour Over

4.00pm | Winners Announced & Presentation




THE Espresso BLEND

It’s up to the roasters to bring their own coffee to the table and present a unique espresso blend.

Each roaster has 10 minutes to present 6 coffees - 2 espressos, 2 dairy coffees and 2 non-dairy plant based coffees - to the judges and explain both the taste profile and commercial rationales behind the blend. The commercial espresso blend wholesale price must be under $25 per kg to qualify.

Points will be allocated according to a range of criteria, including taste, presentation and showmanship.

 A coffee pourover demonstration.

THE pour over


For the last and final round, roasters should ask themselves the question, how far can you take coffee? As they compete to deliver the ‘ultimate’ pour-over experience.
Six finalists will have 15 minutes to present and serve their unique filter roast, brewed using the pour over method and recipe of their choice. The chosen method should demonstrate creativity, innovation and just how far they’re able to push the boundaries.

Points will be allocated for taste, methodology, coffee knowledge and showmanship.

Special thank you to Armenia Coffee, the Exclusive Green Coffee Sponsor of Roast Masters 2019, Compak Grinders, the Official Coffee Grinder Sponsor of Roast Masters 2019 and Battenkill Creamery, the Official Dairy Sponsor of Roast Masters 2019. Plus, San Remo who will be supplying the espresso machine and Acme & Co who will provide the cups.


By invitation only. For more information on Roast Masters 2020, please email us

The Single Origin 

A cupping challenge with a twist. Competing roasters will receive 5kg of the same green coffee from Armenia Coffee one month before the event – enough time to create and develop a unique roasting profile.

At Roast Masters in New York, the expert judges will blind-cup the resulting coffees side by side across three Group Heats, live, whilst the Roasters presents their profile to the panel.

Judges will score the coffees at the time of cupping, according to a range of criteria.



Armenia Coffee is one of the premier green coffee importers and takes pride in its ability to connect producers and exporters of green, soluble, and decaffeinated coffees with roasters and end users from around the world.

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Compak Grinders

The Compak PK100 ensures remarkable temperature stability and unparalleled coffee particle size consistency.  The unique Single Dose cupping system and the extremely low coffee retention allow for the full spectrum of grind size and brewing methods in one grinder.

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Battenkill Valley Creamery

Acme & Co.


Eight Ounce


Our core competence is water optimisation, through the correct filtration.
Our aim is to provide the right solution for the costly problems that unsuitable water creates in food and beverage production. WaterWise offers water treatment solutions for any applications. From food equipment to residential drinking water, we have a wide range of solutions that can be tailored to your water treatment needs. Established in 2015, WaterWise has developed critical partnerships with viable component manufacturer’s to bring you the best available technology at the most affordable prices.
Located near Knoxville, Tennessee and with stocking distributors covering North America, we inventory a wide range of components and systems from this location to all points in the market. WaterWise would like to be your single source supplier and will work diligently to earn your business. Our experienced staff is ready and available to meet all of your water treatment needs.
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