Crush The Rush 2: Cruise Into Summer, the nationwide tour from La Marzocco keeps on crushin’ and cruisin’ all summer longer, with the fourth installment taking place over the weekend at Caffe Umbria‘s roasting space in Chicago, Illinois.

In the new day-long format, Crush The Rush has expanded into so much more than a competition. Previous outings have included talks on cafe sustainability, design, and ergonomics. For the Second City edition, attendees were invited to take part in a Barista Ergonomics class lead by Dr. Steve Heffner of Aligned Modern Health.

Were there sidework judges? Yerp, there sure were.

And there was, of course, a coffee competition, complete with a big ole trophy for the winning team. Intrepid photographer Eric Perez was there to capture all the thrills and spills from Crush The Rush Chicago, and here are some of the highlights that took our breath away!

The drink ticket revealed.

Every good competition needs a halftime show, and when that competition is about cafe efficiency, what better halftime show than to-go cup stamping? You got time to camp, you got time to stamp.

But that didn’t stop Dominic Junior Rodriguez, Casey Chartier, and Harris Nash of Metric Coffee from taking time for a little square dance break.

The action was hot and heavy, and teams from all over the Midwest came to take home the trophy.

Stumptown Coffee didn’t come to mess around (or wear any non-black attire).
A not-so pedestrian performance from the Pedestrian Coffee team.

But in the end, it was the hometown heroes at Metric Coffee that brought home the hardware.

Next up Crush the Rush advances to Nashville, Tennessee, taking place on September 6th. Who will advance to take home the big prize in Music City? We can’t wait to find out.

Get your Crush The Rush Nashville tickets right here.

Follow @Sprudge on Instagram for much more coverage from Crush The Rush San Francisco, Seattle, and New York. 

Sprudge is the official media partner of Crush The Rush.