Nashville, Tennessee is fast becoming the Barista Competition Capital of the United States of America: the city known the for its foot-tappin’ music, hot chicken, and world-class hospitality has hosted preliminaries, qualifiers, and all manners of throwdowns and spro-downs. The coffee city rolled out the red carpet for the tail-end of a five-city Crush The Rush 2: Cruise Into Summer jam.

The speed-centric team-building competition kicked off with twenty teams crushing time trials behind the curtains while the crowds feasted upon complimentary snackeries and learned a little something along the way. The learning sessions sponsored by traditional tamper killer PuqPress were by far one of our favorite things to photograph—each city brought a local professional in the Mind and Body field to lead the audience on stretches, breathing exercises, and movements. In Nashville, the guests were treated to a talk on mindfulness Winston Harrison of Crema Coffee Roasters.

Winston Harris leads the audience in Mindful Breathing exercises.
The audience takes a quiet moment.

We caught a portion of the learning session led by Ever Meister (Cafe Imports) during our live coverage of the event on Instagram (still available in our Instagram Story Highlights!) and wish we could’ve been there for the whole darn thing. “Boundaries for Baristas” tackled some tough topics on barista rights and empowerment.

Ever Meister speaks at Crush the Rush 2: Cruise Into Summer in Nashville.

The afternoon learning sessions featured a panel of ergonomic cafe design moderated by Chelsea Kallman, a talk from Scott Callender about espresso trends, and a Magic Schoolbus style look inside of an espresso machine.

Chloe King of Counter Culture Coffee takes guests through the innards of an espresso machine.

Once the learning sessions wrapped and the confetti canons were filled, the top eight teams took the stage for the biggest rush of all. Here are some of the highlights of the evening:

Space Kats and Demon Dogs (Heinie Bros) crushing it.
The Mighty Pucks (The Well Coffeehouse) wins the SprudgeLive team name/team costume competition.
Chelsea Kallman pours an exquisite drink for the judges at Crush The Rush 2.

Here are the top six teams:

Top Six (Time Trials)

1. Peach (Park Rangers, Peach Coffee Roasters)
2. Tropic Like It’s Hot (Taproom Coffee)
3. Mighty Pucks (Well Coffeehouse)
4. Dram Fam (Dose)
5. Space Catz and Demon Dogs (Heine Bros)
6. Cremberly Ann Kewben (Crema)
7. Tony Hawk’s Spro Skaters (Quills)
8. The Golden Eagles (Stay Golden)

 

Team Peach took top place and included Dylan Claster of Chattahoochee Coffee (Atlanta) and Landon Bonner & Josh Puckett of Peach Coffee Roasters.

The winning team absolutely crushing it.

Congratulations to all, and thanks for Crushing The Rush with us all summer long!

Follow @Sprudge on Instagram for much more coverage from Crush The Rush 2: Cruise Into Summer series.

Photos by Elizabeth Chai for Sprudge.

Sprudge is the official media partner of Crush The Rush.