Why Erika Lee Vonie’s Coffee Masters Win Matters

An Extraordinary And Ordinary Life



We have a new Coffee Masters champion, and her name is Erika Vonie. Since first stepping on to the coffee competition stage in 2014, this is Vonie’s first championship win, and it was hard-fought, requiring five-plus hours of total stage time throughout the weekend and a nail-biting head to head finale against Agnieska Rojewska of Poland, another seasoned (and quite decorated) competitor.

Vonie and Rojewska had never met before the New York Coffee Masters competition, which Rojewska describes as being “a fight but [a] friendly one.” That competitive camaraderie was embodied in a moment I observed from the audience, leading into the final round. Rojewska had already advanced; Vonie was waiting to hear the result of her performance against Christos Andrews (of Seattle’s Ghost Note Coffee) in the semifinal round. The future finalists stood together as announcements neared, chatting about their mutual love for…

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