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Press release from Business Wire

Illinois Cook Chosen as a Finalist in the Seattle's Best Coffee “Red Cup Showdown” National Coffee Drink Competition, Hosted by TV Chef Jeff Mauro

<p class='bwalignc'> <i>Finalist Anthony Karas of Chatham, Ill., to Compete in New York City for $10,000 Grand Prize</i> </p>

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Illinois Cook Chosen as a Finalist in the Seattle's Best Coffee “Red Cup Showdown” National Coffee Drink Competition, Hosted by TV Chef Jeff Mauro16:03 EDT Wednesday, August 15, 2012 SEATTLE (Business Wire) -- At the 160th anniversary of the Illinois State Fair, Red Cup Showdown contestants spent the morning spicing, icing and glittering their coffee beverages during the fourth Red Cup Showdown - Seattle's Best Coffee's summer search across state fairs and on Facebook for the most imaginative new coffee drink. Taking home the first place blue ribbon was Anthony Karas of Chatham, Ill. for his rich, chocolaty “Café Mocha en Fuego” coffee drink. TV Chef Jeff Mauro with the Illinois State Fair Red Cup Showdown winners. Left to right: 3rd Place Winner Patricia Keim, Judge Jeff Mauro, 1st Place Winner Anthony Karas, 2nd Place Winner Maureen Squires. (Photo: Business Wire) “The 13 contestants threw down at the showdown in Illinois, incorporating international flavors, playing off classic candy bars, and celebrating the season's fresh fruits in their coffee drinks,” said TV Chef Jeff Mauro. “In the end, Anthony Karas' impressive blend of spicy and sweet in his ‘Café Mocha en Fuego' had the perfect kick to win first place.” Karas whipped, mixed and sprinkled his drink in front of a live audience and the Red Cup Showdown judging group made up of TV Chef Jeff Mauro, Nancy Sweet from Lincoln Land Community College and Sam Asay of Seattle's Best Coffee in the Hobbies, Arts and Crafts Pavilion at the Illinois State Fair. Maureen Squires from Springfield, Ill. came in second place for her “Seattle's Best Almond Joy” coffee drink and Patricia Keim of East Peoria, Ill. took home the third place ribbon for her “Christmas in July” cold coffee beverage. Karas will travel to New York City to compete in a live coffee-making battle against finalists from the California, Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa state fairs as well as one Facebook finalist for the $10,000 grand prize and the chance to have their drinks featured at Seattle's Best Coffee locations nationwide. In addition to a trip to the Big Apple in late August, Karas received $500 and free coffee for a year. Illinoisans can show their support of their hometown winner by participating in public voting on the Seattle's Best Coffee Facebook page Aug. 18-22. The grand-prize winning coffee drink will be selected based on the vote of the judging panel at the New York finale, as well as Facebook votes. This summer, creative cooks from across the country are entering their ideas into the Red Cup Showdown by submitting a recipe on the Seattle's Best Coffee Facebook page or participating in one of the live coffee competitions that Seattle's Best Coffee is hosting at the California, Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa state fairs. About Seattle's Best Coffee Seattle's Best Coffee LLC has been roasting premium coffee since 1970 and today roasts more than 20 million pounds of coffee every year and millions of cups of our coffee are served every day. A freshly-brewed cup of Seattle's Best Coffee is currently available in more than 50,000 locations including cafes, college campuses, restaurants, hotels, airlines, cruise ships, grocery stores and movie theatres. Seattle's Best Coffee is a featured brand within Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX). For more information, please visit Seattle's Best Coffee online at www.seattlesbest.com, become a member of the coffee community at www.facebook.com/SeattlesBestCoffee or follow Seattle's Best Coffee on Pinterest for unique coffee inspiration at www.pinterest.com/seattlesbest. For information about our retail franchise opportunity, please visit www.seattlesbest.com. About Jeff Mauro Jeff Mauro, winner of the seventh season of Food Network Star, graduated from California's Hollywood Kitchen Academy, and has worked in the food industry since high school in various roles, including line cook, caterer and chef instructor. After pursuing a career as an entertainer and comedian in Los Angeles, Jeff returned to Chicago to spend time doing what he loves: cooking. His down-to-earth personality coupled with his comic skills make a great combination in the kitchen. In his Food Network cooking show, Sandwich King, Jeff proves you can turn any meal into a sandwich and any sandwich into a delicious meal. Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50378804&lang=en Seattle?s Best CoffeeJenny McCabe, 206-318-7100press@seattlesbest.comorZeno GroupSarah Rosanova, 312-396-9711sarah.rosanova@zenogroup.com