Nick Berardi, head roaster at Mostra Coffee, was crowned the best roaster at the recent U.S. Roaster Championship held in Boston. Chosen among 22 competitors, Berardi will now represent the USA at the World Coffee Roasting Championship in Milan.
Although relatively new to roasting, Nick Berardi managed to impress the judges with his green grading of coffee, the planning of the roasting, and its execution. His first professional experience with coffee was as a barista at Brioso Coffee, when he moved from fine dining to the coffee industry. After a few years, he moved on to Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, where he learned a lot about behind-the-scene operations of the coffee business, including sourcing, logistics and sales. Eventually, he found himself working at Mostra Coffee.
Aside from his love for all things coffee, what attracted Berardi to Mostra Coffee was their conscious effort to always contribute something to communities. He considers the company his second family.
I am part of a team that performs to its best every day, and the best way to test that was to see if I measured up and to exhibit that in competition.Nick Berardi – interview with Barista Magazine,
Mostra, or “performance” in Italian, mirrors the founders’ professions: Beverly as an opera singer, and Jelynn as an actress and TV host. Despite not knowing a lot about coffee or the industry at the beginning, Berardi said they had the vision to create a sustainable livelihood for the farmers in the Philippines.
Prior to 2020, when the preliminaries for the roasting championship took place, Berardi had only competed in barista contests. Furthermore, at the time of the preliminaries, he had only been roasting coffee for six or seven months, but he was equipped with a lot of experience in the industry.
However, competing against America’s best is not the same as competing against the world’s best. Berardi plans to read and learn a lot more before his trip to Milan. There, the competition is more complex as it covers even more technicalities of roasting.
World of Coffee is an annual trade show that showcases the products and services of coffee industry suppliers, and where different coffee competitions take place. This year, it will be held in Milan from 23 June to 25 June. Nick Berardi will be competing at the World Coffee Roasting Championship, which consists of three stages: coffee grading, roasting profiling, and the roasting proper.
Mostra Coffee is a San Diego-based micro roaster founded in a garage in 2013 by Beverly Magtanong and Jelynn Malone, two Filipino Americans. At the core of the company lies the desire to lift Filipino farmers out of poverty.