Introducing the Symposium 2015 Coffee Service Lead Baristas

We are excited to announce the lead baristas for Symposium 2015 coffee service! Coffee Service will be provided at four separate espresso bars on the Promenade overlooking the Grand Lobby of Benaroya Hall, as well as a brewed coffee bar in the Recital Hall Lobby by a team of highly-skilled Barista Guild of America members. This year's service is inspired by 2015 World Barista Championship competitors. Browse through the barista profiles below, and get just a taste of their bar concepts.

Laila Ghambari

Coffee Service Lead

Laila Ghambari works along side her father at their 20 year old family owned and operated business, Cherry Street Coffee House. She is the Director of Coffee for their ten locations. Laila is the 2014 United States Barista Champion and sits on the Executive Council for the Barista Guild of America. She has collaborated with the Symposium planning team on the design of the Symposium coffee service for the last five years, and this is her second year overseeing it, this year helping to put together a group of accomplished lead baristas and highly talented crews.


Joshua Boyt

Lead Barista

Coffee has not only helped Joshua know many cultures around the world, but also truly know himself. Boyt spent over 14 years in specialty coffee sales & marketing and business & brand development. In 2011, he opened Metronome Coffee in Tacoma, WA, and Tuning Fork Consulting, a brand development firm. In 2012 Boyt partnered with Victrola Coffee Roasters as Director of Sales and Marketing. He is a past NW chair for the BGA and currently on the editorial advisory board and contributor for Barista Magazine.

Joshua wishes to highlight the changes experienced in the coffee world though the influence of others in his coffee service, showing how perspectives can constantly be changed by the introduction of contrasting and complimentary force. As each beverage is served in pairs, he encourages a new perspective on each independent beverage and collective combination.


Julie Housh

Lead Barista

Julie Housh is a Wholesale Educator for Intelligentsia Coffee and current Chair of the Barista Guild of America. She previously worked on Capitol Hill before being lured into coffee where she spent three years with World Coffee Events organizing coffee championships and events across the globe. When Julie is not training the future of Specialty Coffee, you can find her enjoying daily snacks and reading The Economist.

Julie wants to serve delicious brewed coffee to Symposium attendees with a service style that emphasizes efficiency, complimented with approachable engagement about the coffees being served. Her brewed coffee service is ensured to be served by people who are passionate about what they do: Symposium barista and porter volunteers who have absorbed as much information about the coffees being served, also drawing on their knowledge and experiences of other coffees.


Cody Kinart

Lead Barista

Life without coffee isn't a choice for Cody. Coming up on his 13th year in the Specialty Coffee Industry, Cody has performed every task from dishwasher, to cashier, barista, barista trainer- and most recently a Wholesale Representative for Colectivo Coffee Roasters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is an SCAA Certified Lead Instructor and Level 2 certified BGA Barista. More than anything, he is excited to welcome all of the World Barista Championship competitors to the United States.

Cody's goal for his coffee service is to keep the pride and importance of espresso blends alive. With single-origin coffees taking the spotlight in most specialty cafes and roasteries, he will take multiple coffees (all remarkable in their own way) and blend them together to create a profile unachievable by each of those coffees on their own. The coffees served will all be of incredibly high quality,­ but will be blended to create a perfect balance between flavor, body, and acidity.


Sarah Leslie

Lead Barista

Sarah Leslie is the Director of Education at Gimme! Coffee where she develops and executes training programs. She holds the Barista Level 1 and 2 Certificates and is also a credentialed Barista Certificate Examiner. Sarah has been teaching people to make coffee since 2010. Her coffee career began in 2006 in NYC, and since then she taken on many roles in companies around the city. She is serving her second year on the BGA Certificate Committee and is looking forward joining the BGA Executive Council this year. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys tossing the frisbee around with her husband and their dog Pickles.

Sarah's service concept for will celebrate the origins or birthplaces of coffee. The espresso bar will celebrate Seattle as the origin of cafe culture in the United States. Ethiopia, this year's portrait country, will also be celebrated as the birthplace of coffee cultivation. For the menu, Sarah will celebrate the drink that introduces so many consumers to specialty coffee—the mocha.


Lorenzo Perkins

Lead Barista

Lorenzo Perkins is currently serving as a member of the Barista Guild of America Executive Council. After spending nearly a decade as a production barista and in store trainer, he now produces baristas as Cuvee Coffee’s lead educator in Austin, TX. He still makes coffee, too. Sometimes, people like it.

Lorenzo's bar is inspired by the competitors' excitement for filter coffee service, the attention to single origin coffees, and the drive to push what a barista can be and do behind the bar. He will explore single origin espressos as coffee shots brewed with the EK43, reimagining espresso drinks made with coffee shots.