Well, the event's results are in, and Rhode Island did alright. Devlin Rice placed eighth in the Northeast Regional competition. That's pretty hot considering it's only his second year and he placed ninth last year.
Devlin works at Pawtucket's New Harvest Coffee. You'll notice their coffee being used at many of the cafes in the general Providence area, such as Blue State and Three Sisters. I also think Seven Stars uses it. I really like their coffee. It's some of the absolute best being roasted in the New England region. Their espresso roast is good, dark, and chocolaty.
It's unfortunate that he doesn't work at a local cafe. Rhode Island doesn't really have any high-end cafes. We have Coffee Exchange, which is very good, but it's kind of like an excellent local cafe, as opposed to a destination cafe. In the Projo article about Mr. Rice, it mentions his signature drinks made with chocolate and marzipan. We don't have any cafes that have signature drinks, where the drink is treated as a recipe that requires a chef to construct.
For example, a drink I make in my kitchen is a small cappuccino with sugar layered on top, after which I torch it like a crème brûlée. It's not terribly complex and it's easy to make, but it's fun and is something special. It's that sort of inventiveness that's missing from our local watering holes.
So here's hoping the attention generated by Rice's participation in the competition increases the number of cafes in RI that dare to be daring. And congratulations to Devlin Rice for making an arguably excellent showing in your sophomore event.
Who's the Best Barista (Projo.com)
Food Notes (Projo.com)