|All photos ©Christy Baugh|
Courtesy Counter Culture Coffee
Butler, who has a caffeinated online presence as @sexyfoam, conceded at last year's event that he wanted to get back into the game.
"Nothing about this is easy," said Butler, who co-emceed's the event after retiring from competition. "But I've got to say, it's also hard to just stand here and watch. If this comes back to Durham," added then then-new father with a glint in his eye, "I might do it again."
Counter Culture also was represented in the Northeast category, where Sam Lewontin won using the company's coffee. Butler and Lewontin will advance to the US Coffee Championships, which will be held in February at Long Beach, California.
**UPDATE FROM SPRUDGE.COM:
This is Mr. Butler’s incredible fifth regional barista competition win, his most recent coming in the 2013 season. Record keeping in the pre-Sprudge era of barista competition coverage is spotty at the regional level, but after consulting with a few informal advisors, we feel comfortable declaring that this win makes Lemuel Butler the winningest barista in American regional barista competition history. All five of his wins have come in the Southeast region for our partners at Counter Culture Coffee, adding to the company’s trophy case that includes a 2012 United States Barista Championship win by Katie Carguilo.