Food Service & Agriculture, Human Resources, and Retail

Coffee shop co-founder places first in barista competition

February 10, 2016
| By Pat Evans |
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Trevor Corlett Madcap Eastern Conference Barista Competition
Trevor Corlett, CEO of Grand Rapids-based Madcap, competes in the Eastern Conference Barista Competition in Kansas City, Missouri. Courtesy Madcap

A local coffee shop co-founder is one of the best baristas in the nation.

Madcap CEO Trevor Corlett won first place at the Eastern Conference Barista Competition last week in Kansas City, Missouri.

The qualifying competition drew baristas from states across the eastern half of the U.S., while another contest drew baristas from the western half of the country.

“After nine years of competing in barista competitions, filled with lots of second- and third-place finishes, this win feels somewhat surreal,” Corlett said. ”The level of support from my family, Madcap team and my fellow competitors and judges was incredible.”

With the win, Corlett now moves on to the United States Barista Championship semifinals in Atlanta.

The tournament requires baristas to prepare four espressos, four milk-based drinks and four signature drinks in 15 minutes.

Four sensory judges and two technical judges then review the products.

At the Eastern Conference event, Corlett highlighted coffee from southwest Colombia. The coffee was from producer Amparo Botina, whose coffee has tasting notes of “cinnamon, black cherry, complex fig sweetness, with a medium bodied, silky, lingering finish.”

Madcap’s café manager Ryan Wojton came in ninth place and qualified for the United States Brewers Cup Championship, which highlights manual coffee brewing.

Corlett’s signature drink

The Almost Perfect

  • Glass smoked with cinnamon and cherry bitters
  • 1 ml of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 shot of espresso with Amparo Botina’s coffee
  • 1 ml of small-batch grenadine
  • Stirred well and finished with a freeze-dried strawberry and served in a 2.5-ounce coupe glass

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