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Three boys, one dog, one chinchilla…Sometimes, you just have to STOP…and Count To Ten.

I am SO tired from our trip back east, but that didn’t stop us from heading over to the CA State Fair in Sacramento last weekend!

From the moment we entered the gates, Eli was in AWE!  The day started off in the low 70s, the crowds weren’t out yet, and we were on an adventure!  There were just SO many smells to take in, games to look at, food to drool over!

If it can be fried…it was there!

As we made our way through the food vendors and then through the kid ride section (which Eli promptly told me he was too big for), we were at the Grandstands.  Here is where I would get to watch the competition of people from all around California, creating their own coffee beverage for a chance to win $10,000 in the Seattle’s Best Red Cup Showdown.  BUT…as fate would have it, I would also get to stare into the eyes of the handsome Jeff Mauro (yep, the Sandwich King himself) as he was the emcee for the event. (thank goodness Joe took the boys to ride the rides and didn’t see my wondering eyes!)

OK…ok…my drooling is over.  Onto the competition!  I’m not sure what I expected when I got here.  Maybe a boring competition, coffee just add milk?  This was the MOST fun that I’ve had in a LONG time!  (I’m SO jealous of creative people in the kitchen…)

These ladies were SERIOUS (yep, no guys in this competition!).  There was mixing, shaking, stirring, spraying.  I don’t even think I could turn that fancy blender on, and these ladies looked like professional baristas whipping up a masterpiece!

Seriously…look how yummy!  We didn’t get a chance to try these…but, this Red Velvet looked so delicious to me (and you know a southern girl loves her red velvet!)

The Red Cup Showdown was judged by three people:

  • Jeff Mauro (The Sandwich King himself)
  • Sue (from Seattle’s Best)
  • Chris (from the state fair)

There were THREE heats that lasted a total of FIVE minutes.  Participants were able to bring in some of their special ingredients and were given the equipment to use (I can’t imagine how many times they practiced at home to make these original coffee beverages in ONLY five minutes!)

Each heat had 3-4 contestants.  After each heat, the judges would talk to each participant and hear the name of their original coffee beverage and their inspiration for making it.

There were SO many different drinks made this day.  Some of the names I remember are:

  • Amazelnut (maybe that was an amazing hazelnut!)
  • Orange spice Merlot
  • Mocha almond joy
  • hot caramel apple
  • red velvet cup
  • chocolate orange iced coffee
  • and so many more (I just have old lady brain!)

It was pretty cool that after each heat, the contestants got to take a picture with Jeff. (and this heat was the BEST!  Liz was nervous about competing, Joanna forgot her lid on the blender and it went flying EVERYWHERE, and there were TWO red velvet drinks in this heat!  This should have been a live show!)

Once the third heat was over, the judges went away to deliberate.

and the wait was on.

Not that I minded…Joe had the kids, I was around great people, the weather was PERFECT….and I really couldn’t wait to hear who the winner would be!

Drumroll please….

and the winners are:

  • 3rd place–$50 and the awesome apron–Joanna
  • 2nd place–$100 and the awesome apron–Kathleen
  • 1st place–$500, the apron, free coffee for a year, & trip to NYC to compete with other winners–Liz

Liz’s winning recipe was the Hot Caramel Apple Coffee drink

To make her recipe, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 tablespoon’s Seattle’s Best, Level 4
  • 2 1/4 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons caramel flavored topping
  • 3 tablespoons apple juice
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half
  • Whipped cream and caramel topping for garnish

Place measured ground coffee into filter and brew with water.  Add caramel to brewed coffee.  Stir until dissolved.

Add apple juice and half-and-half.

Pour into three coffee cups.


(why didn’t I think of that and enter??)

If YOU think you have what it takes to compete in the Seattle’s Best Red Cup Showdown, they’re NOT finished yet!  Check out where they’re headed next:

  • Ohio State Fair, Columbus
  • Wisconsin State Fair, Milwaukee
  • Illinois State Fair, Springfield
  • Iowa State Fair, Des Moines

Five finalists will be named from the state fair competitions, one per state, and one finalist will be named from the Facebook contest. A panel of judges will select the finalists based on use of Seattle’s Best Coffee®, appetite appeal, uniqueness and the story behind the coffee drink idea. The six finalists will win a trip to New York City where they battle for the grand prize in the finale Red Cup Showdown live competition on Aug. 23. The public will also be able to vote on their favorite finalist Aug. 18-22. The grand-prize winning coffee drink will be selected based on the vote of the judging panel, as well as Facebook votes.

After I was able to get pictures of all the winners, I was able to sneak in a picture….

(can you tell that I was SO excited that I almost peed in my pants!)

What a great event!  Jeff was a great host, the Seattle’s Best team was awesome and kept things moving along…and the crowd was full of supporters for the participants.

Good luck to those in the next fair competitions!

After my giddy picture, I skipped out of the grandstand arena to find my hubby and boys. They had ridden rides and rides…and we walked around and came upon the Seattle’s Best booth.

There were FREE samples, games on the spinning wheel with prizes, and a big ole coffee cup you could have your picture taken in.

But…my sweet Eli…this is what he wanted a picture of:


What a fun filled day!

Don’t forget to stop by the Seattle’s Best Booth if they’ll be at YOUR state fair this summer!  AND…if you’re feeling creative…head on over to Walmart, buy yourself some Seattle’s Best coffee and see what amazing original coffee beverages YOU can make!

You can find out more info about Seattle’s Best and the #RedCupShowdown at:

Seattle’s Best



Contest Info

Seattle’s Best just posted some footage that they shot from the California State Fair…it really was a fun time!

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Seattle’s Best Coffee #CBias #SocialFabric  All photos and opinions are my own!