America's Best Cold Brew Competition

Coffee Fest Presents:

America's Best Cold Brew Competition

Coffee Fest and founding competition sponsor JoeTap welcome you to the America's Best Cold Brew Competition. The Coffee Fest America's Best Cold Brew Competition has been developed to determine and acknowledge the best tasting cold brew and nitro at each of the three Coffee Fest shows annually across the USA and Canada. All roasters in North America may apply to compete. A $200 entry fee is required for competitors that are not exhibiting within the show. Coffee Fest exhibitors that choose to compete do not pay any entry fee and are automatically seeded within the bracket-style tournament. For those applying to compete but not exhibiting within the show, the $200 entry fee will be due upon acceptance if and when they are selected and seeded within the bracket. Exhibitors are automatically granted a spot in the competition. 

LA 2018 final results 


 new york 2019
deadline - january 13th
indy 2019
deadline - April 7th

Los angeles 2019
DEADLINE - july 7th


  1. Apply to compete in either the ‘Traditional Still’ or ‘Nitro’ category for the Coffee Fest that you are interested in.
  2. After the application deadline, competitors are notified of their status in the competition as well as the time of their match. Competitors are required to pay a $200 entry fee, due upon acceptance.
  3. It is the competitor’s responsibility to have their product to the convention center and arrive for their scheduled match on time. The day before the show begins or the morning of, competitors are welcome to drop off their product in the refrigerated area, provided by Coffee Fest. Competitors should bring their own hand truck or dolly to bring their product in to the convention center.
  4. Competitors must arrive 30 minutes prior to their scheduled match to set up. Each competitor shares a table with their opponent and must be present during their entire match. Any competitor not ready to compete at the beginning of their match will be disqualified.
  5. All 32 competitors will compete on the first day of the show. Competitors will go head to head against each other in a winner moves on, loser goes home fashion. On the second day of the show, the 16 competitors who advanced from the day prior will compete in the semi-finals. On the final day of the show, the top 4 in each category will all compete against each other to determine the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.
  6. Judging is done by a controlled group of three, industry professional blind judges as well as Coffee Fest attendees. During your match, a representative will collect three samples from you and your opponent and deliver them to the judging area where judges will taste and evaluate your sample, as well as your competitors, and decide which they feel should advance. Judging is based on flavor complexity, balance, mouth feel, body and aftertaste. In addition, Coffee Fest attendees are invited to come through the public voting line, taste each sample, and select on a ballot which they prefer. Please keep in mind, the professional judge vote’s count toward a higher percentage than the attendee voting. Attendee voting is included to give the competitors visibility and allow their product to be sampled.
  7. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in both categories are awarded prize money and a trophy.

Prize Money:

Traditional Still Nitrogen Infused
1st Place - $1,000 1st Place - $1,000
2nd Place - $500 2nd Place - $500
3rd Place - $250 3rd Place - $250

Day One

Flight A) 12:30pm-1:10pm (Matches 1-4)

Flight B) 1:40pm-2:20pm (Matches 5-8)

Flight C) 2:50pm-3:30pm (Matches 8-12)

Flight D) 4:00pm-4:40pm (Matches 13-16)

Day Two

Flight A) 12:30pm-2:00pm (Matches 17-20)

Flight B) 2:30pm-4:00pm (Matches 21-24)

Day Three

Flight A) 11:30am-12:30pm (Still Final Match)

Flight B) 1:00pm-2:00pm (Nitro Final Match)

Still Champion Crowned at 12:30pm. Nitro Champion Crowned at 2:00pm. 

Judging Process:

Head-to-head matches will be judged by a control group of industry professional judges alongside the Coffee Fest attendees. The industry professional control judging will be judged “blind.”  In both cases, competitors cold brew samples will be judged entirely on taste preference. Similar to the America’s Best Espresso competition judging at Coffee Fest, all judges will consider only the aspects of palette pleasure including:  flavor complexity, balance, mouth feel, body and aftertaste.

1. Who can enter? America’s Best Cold Brew Competition is open to any roaster in the USA and Canada.

2. How are competitors selected? Competitors that are exhibiting within a show are automatically seeded into the competition. The remaining spots are filled via a lottery and selected at random at the application deadline.

3. How much Cold Brew/Nitro should I bring to the competition? We recommend 5 gallons throughout the weekend. This is based on 100, 1 oz samples for each flight.

4. How do I get my product to the show? You must either bring your product with you or ship to your hotel and then pick it up and bring it to the convention center. You are not permitted to ship directly to the convention center. Coffee Fest is not able to provide any kind of hand truck or dolly for transportation in and out of the facility.

5. Do I need to bring my own sample cups? No. Your Brand Cafe has donated compostable 2 oz cold sample cups for all competitors.

6. What space do I have available to work with? Each competitor will be in-line with other competitors in the flight.  The competition occurs on the exhibition floor and competitors will have three (3) feet of table space to accommodate sampling/judging.

7. Who is voting for America’s Best Cold Brew? A control group of three industry professional blind judges alongside Coffee Fest attendees. 

8. How do I dispense my Cold Brew or Nitro? All competitors will use the provided clear plastic cups for sampling.  Competitors may use any dispensing system of their choosing.  Competition Sponsor, JoeTap is available to assist, provide equipment and work with competitors that would like the help.

9. Do I have to be present to compete? Yes. Competitors not set up and ready to sample at the start of their flight will be disqualified.

10. Where can I store my Cold Brew? Coffee Fest can store your cold brew in their refrigerated storage for the duration of the show. To access the storage, please visit the the Cold Brew Competition venue for assistance. Product must be hand delivered.

11. Is ice available? Yes; if ice is needed it will be provided complimentarily. You must however, bring your own storage (cooler) and tongs to dispense ice. Sample cups are small and will only hold 1-2 cubes.

12. Am I allowed to put out flyers/brochures? No promotional material of any kind may be displayed. Coffee Fest will provide signage with your logo at your designated space. 


Are you a coffee professional active in the industry? We’d be honored to have you come judge the America’s Best Cold Brew competition. A maximum of three (3) blind judges will be selected. Judges MUST be at the Cold Brew Competition Venue at designated times each day of the show.

The competition is designed to evaluate a roaster's cold brew or nitro.



  • Reborn Coffee Roasters (Traditional Still) & Gen Brewing (Nitro Infused) - Los Angeles, August 2018
  • Beagle Coffee Company (Traditional Still) & Novo Coffee (Nitro Infused) - Denver, June 2018
  • Piper & Leaf Tea Co. (Traditional Still) & Red Rooster Coffee Roaster (Nitro Infused) - Baltimore, March 2018
  • Reborn Coffee Roasters (Traditional Still) & Wired Coffee Roasters (Nitro Infused) - Portland, October 2017
  • Hellion Cold Brew (Traditional Still) & Colectivo Coffee (Nitro Infused) - Chicago, June 2017
  • Pilcrow Coffee - Nashville, March 2017
  • Klatch Coffee - Anaheim, October 2016

About Joe Tap

JoeTap is the world’s first On-Demand Nitro Cold Brew Coffee distribution solution and proud to be a founding sponsor of America’s Best Cold Brew competition. JoeTap delivers either still or nitro coffee, perfectly, consistently and deliciously with each and every pour.  JoeTap will be supporting any competitors that would like their assistance leading up to and on-site throughout the competitions.

About Your Brand Cafe

Your Brand Cafe is a custom cup printer set up just north of Atlanta, Georgia. What began as a start-up by two brothers and a few machines is now one of the fastest growing printers in the country! Your Brand Cafe has made it a joy for businesses to dress their product in the finest cups and sleeves possible and is now the official supplier of cups for the America's Best Cold Brew Competition.


Coffee Fest New York 2019

America's Best Cold Brew Competition

Application Deadline: January 13th, 2019



Coffee Fest Indy 2019

America's Best Cold Brew Competition

Application Deadline: April 7, 2019

Apply to compete 


Coffee Fest Los Angeles 2019

America's Best Cold Brew Competition

Application Deadline: July 7th

Apply to compete


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