Barista Magazine

OCT-NOV 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 27 of 115

P U L L : E V E N T S IF YOU HAD ASKED ME a year ago how I was going to spend my summer in 2018, I can say with certainty that it wouldn't have been driving a mammoth moving truck around the whole United States, stopping in 10 dynamic cities to unload an entire coffee game show for 10 incredible coffee communities (plus the many people who drove in from outside of each city to participate or watch), packing the whole thing up again, and driving on to the next event. It was as exhilarating, exhausting, and absolutely fantastic as you can imagine. The Counter Culture Coffee team in Atlanta donned items from the costumes of their opponents after beating them, and proudly wore them to victory. Teams drove as much as 12 hours to compete, and registrations sold out within minutes! The Oatly sidewalk challenge was the make-it-or-break-it for many teams. If all 19 cartons of Oatly weren't arranged juuust right, the mini-fridge doors would pop back open, and the baristas would be forced to reorganize until it all fi t like coffee Tetris perfection. Past barista competitors, new baristas, folks who have been in the industry for 10+ years—they all had an opportunity to compete, which was sooo cool! Pictured here is the winning team from Los Angeles, consisting of Kat Adams (left), Blair Smith (center), and Castaneye Streeby. CRUSH THE RUSH: 1 SUMMER, 10 CITIES PHOTOS + TEXT BY JOSH LITTLEFIELD EditorÕs note: Seemingly overnight, La Marzocco's team competition Crush the Rush became the song of summer 2018. With La Marzocco's Josh Littlefi eld behind the wheel of a moving van that took machines, competition set-up, and plenty of prizes across the country with stops in 12 cities, Crush the Rush was celebrated as a competition focused on testing baristas working as a team on real- (coffee-bar) world tasks. "We wanted it to be enjoyable to watch for the crowd, accessible for competitors, fast- paced, and most of all, fun. Baristas work together every day to create delicious drinks and get them out as fast as possible, so we decided to build a team competition focused on effi ciency and consistency," says Scott Callender, VP of marketing and consumer strategy for La Marzocco. "The main thing we were missing was a crazy person that could make a game-show set from scratch, drive a moving truck around the country for two months, and be an engaging and entertaining emcee after spending the day setting up espresso machines and dunk tanks. Enter our outreach and events manager, Josh Littlefi eld. I can't imagine anyone who could have pulled off this tour with the amount of high energy, personal connection, and positive attitude that Josh did." Over the course of the summer, no one saw the excitement, the tears, the celebration, and the community spirit more up-close than Josh did, which is why we asked him to chronicle his journey here in this photo essay. We hope you enjoy it. 28 barista magazine

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