A showdown of brewers took place Sunday at The Bayfront Convention Center, coffee brewers that is.
An annual competition sponsored by The Saint Martin Center was back as both local and franchise coffee shops around The City of Erie competed for the title of best coffee in the region.
It’s the sixth edition of Erie’s Best Coffee which is a signature fundraiser for the St. Martin’s Center.
The event hasn’t been held since 2020 due to the pandemic, but a representative from St. Martin’s Center said that they’re going stronger now than ever.
“We started small many years ago and we’ve grown it steadily. So far from the crowds, it looks like we’ll have our best year yet,” said David Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer of St. Martin’s Center.
Small, locally owned shops as well as larger chains competed Sunday as the smell of roasting coffee filled the air. Lines even wrapped around booths with people trying as much coffee as they could.
WJET/WFXP spoke to a winner of this event in previous years, and they shared what it means to be the best.
“It is very exciting that we have won in the past. We actually won in 2020 which was the last event. So, a little bit of pressure coming back,” Sarah Trojak, owner of Coffee in the Park.
Trojak said that this competition serves as a great way to energize the coffee culture in Erie.
“We’ve actually had so many people to our coffee shop from this event. There are a lot of franchises here as well today, but for local coffee culture in Erie, it’s really great,” Trojak went on to say.
And the winners of Erie’s Best Coffee 2023, Purrista Cat Cafe.
They dominated the winnings this year, winning four out of six “cat”agories.
“So we just kind of pick out some of our favorites, obviously house and decaf are a staple, but then we also included a flavored or specialty drink this year. This year is blueberry for us as the flavor and a blueberry lavender ‘cat fee’, which is blueberry coffee with lavender foam on top. A lot of people really seem to like it at our café, so we thought we would bring it on,” Dena Rupp, owner of Purrista Cat Café.
Many people seemed to agree, helping Purrista earn the title of Erie’s Best Coffee this year.
“We love our coffee; we hope everyone else does too,” Rupp said.
Purrista was winners of Best Decaf, Best Flavored, Best Specialty, and overall Erie’s Best Coffee this year.