Food Service & Agriculture and Retail

Coffee makers come up clutch

August 14, 2018
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Madcap Team
The Madcap barista team (from left): Raeann Lupo, Brodie Lewis and Dana Sullivan. Courtesy Madcap Coffee

A local coffee company recently took home first place at a national tournament.

Madcap Coffee announced its recent participation and success at La Marzocco USA’s Crush the Rush competition on Aug. 7 in Chicago.

The national event pits eight teams of three baristas in a three-round, single-elimination tournament, with the goal of delivering eight perfectly made drinks as quickly as possible.

Madcap Coffee’s team consisted of Dana Sullivan, Raeann Lupo and Brodie Lewis, who worked together to bring home their first place win.

“The competition was sharp, and there were some curveballs thrown our way, but the team performed consistently and did a great job of overcoming challenges in the moment,” Lupo said.

Without a single drink remake throughout the competition, Madcap’s baristas beat seven other top barista teams from the Midwest, despite unique challenges like restocking a milk fridge and busing dirty dishes.

Crush the Rush pressed competitors to optimize their workflow, roles and responsibilities in order to improve their speed. Each team competed on a La Marzocco Strada AV with scales that had to be programmed in order to maximize efficiency and accuracy.

Crush the Rush is organized by La Marzocco USA, a producer of high-end professional coffee machines. The event is scheduled to come to nine U.S. cities this summer, with the final competition coming to Denver on Aug. 14.

Madcap Coffee is based in Grand Rapids and operates three cafes along with its own wholesale division.

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