Feb 16, 2010

Barista Competition at MadCap

Laura judging Ryan's technique

MadCap takes coffee seriously. It's a whole different language, and by far, a much better caffeine experience. 

I was very honored to have been asked to judge the Michigan barista competition at MadCap last week as a precursor to the regional competition in Milwaukee in March. Grand Rapids Press columnist, Chris Knape, Bar Divani owner, Rimple Nayyar, and "Farm to Table" advocate, Lisa Rose Starner, were my fellow judges.

I've tasted a lot of coffee in my lifetime, but to judge an actual coffee competition is a whole different sensory experience. A packed house witnessed the event (a very good sign since the coffee house was technically closed for business). Four competitors, three from MadCap and one barista from Cuppa Joe in Traverse City, presented the judges an espresso, cappuccino and a signature coffee drink. We judged them on the color of the crema, consistency and persistence of the crema and foam, taste balance, tactile balance, appealing look of the signature drink, presentation, attention to detail and overall impression. A head technical judged also evaluated the drinks.

Despite spitting most of the twelve coffees after tasting, I felt a little shaky. I'm sure it's a normal occurrence with amateur tasters like myself. I felt guilty for not consuming the coffee which were all pretty delicious.

It was a pleasant way to spend my Saturday evening...and the wee hours of Sunday morning. Coffee anyone?

A full house
Chris Knape receiving instruction from head technical judge, Josh Dugan
Trevor's perfect cappuccino
Lisa Rose Starner and my fellow judges
21st century coffee society
Trevor Corlatt of MadCap
Spectators interview the competitors

Cara of Traverse City with her coffee mis en place
Trevor orchestrating his signature drink
Laura during her espresso performance
Cara's Bramble inspired signature drink

1 comment:

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Madcap is the best place for barista competitons. I think it is the best place to have some coffee. Thanks for sharing the photos.