After searching across state fairs in California, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Ohio, as well as on Facebook this summer, Seattle’s Best Coffee and TV Chef Jeff Mauro have found the most imaginative new coffee drink in the nation.
Eileen Gannon won the grand prize red mug trophy for the drink she refers to as, “How to Win a Guy with One Sip.”
The drink combines Level 5 Seattle’s Best Coffee with the unexpected flavors of caramelized bacon and subtle hints of pumpkin pie spice.
The Des Moines, Iowa–native took home the $10,000 grand prize at the finale Red Cup Showdown live competition and will have the chance to see her coffee drink featured in participating Seattle’s Best Coffee locations across North America.
“The heat was on at the finale Red Cup Showdown,” Mauro says. “We wanted to see how Seattle’s Best Coffee could be reinvented, and Eileen Gannon really turned coffee on its head with an amazing combination of caramelized bacon and subtle hints of pumpkin pie spice.”
Gannon began her ascent to the top by participating in a live coffee competition at the Iowa state fair against 13 worthy opponents.
After taking home the blue ribbon at the fair, Gannon traveled to New York City to face off against the top five other contestants in the nation selected in competitions held at the California, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Illinois state fairs, and well as on Facebook.
In New York, Gannon put on her game face to battle against the final five coffee contenders and be judged by the finale judging panel comprised of Mauro; Jim McDermet, senior vice president and general manager of Seattle’s Best Coffee; and Eddie Shamah, Seattle’s Best Coffee franchisee and president of Shamah Enterprises. The grand prize winner was determined through a combination of the vote of the New York judging panel and Facebook votes.