America's Best Cold Brew Competition

Coffee Fest Presents:

America's Best Cold Brew Competition

The 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. 

los angeles 2019 FINAL RESULTS


  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 are responsible for getting your product 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 must dispense their product with the Brood machine.  Competition Sponsor, Brood 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 beginning the day before the show starts. Specific instructions will be sent to accepted competitors. It is the competitors responsibility to get their product to the competition venue.

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. 

13. What happens if I am no longer able to compete after being accepted? If a competitor is to pull from the competition after the bracket has been set or is not present for their match on-site, a "no-show" will be set against their record and may impact future competing opportunities.


  • Flat White Coffee (Traditional Still) & Black Ring Coffee (Nitro Infused) - Los Angeles, August 2019
  • Passion House Coffee Roasters (Traditional Still) & Julian Coffee Roasters (Nitro Infused) - Indianapolis, June 2019
  • Spare Moment Coffee Roasters (Traditional Still) & Cervantes Coffee Roasters (Nitro Infused) - New York, March 2019
  • 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
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