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[gallery] Even though, as I write this, the SCAA Northwest Regional  Barista Competition is still more than a week away the excitement is building. When I ran into Mark, Victrola's very own trainer who is representing us this year, the other day, he was feverishly strategizing at his desk. I can only imagine what he was thinking, maybe: "How do I best describe my reasoning for choosing this particular milk or coffee? Should I emphasize the farm or the flavor profile? What about the texture? And the color? Or maybe how it mingles with the other components in the cup? Oh man, I forgot maybe I should mention mouth feel." Mark is neither new to competition (he was a judge for the competition last year) nor to endless pontifications about coffee or preparation methods (that is his job!). I hate to put such high expectations on anyone's shoulders, but we are all really excited to see how this all goes. I for one think that Mark has what it takes to astound the judges (we will all keep our fingers crossed) and watch in anticipation. Northwest Regional Barista Competition January 9-11, 2009: Northwest Regional Barista Competition Hosted By: Dillanos Coffee Roasters Location: The Temple Theater, Tacoma, Washington

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