Crush The Rush? CRUSH THE RUSH!
La Marzocco USA’s live event series is back for an incredible second summer season, and Sprudge Media Network is your official media partner for coverage across five cities. We’re kicking things off tonight in Seattle, the home of LM USA (and the city where Sprudge started, donchaknow) with a truly epic event at Fulcrum Coffee Roasters in SoDo.
Expanded into a new day-long format in 2019, Crush The Rush fuses education and advocacy with a fun, informal coffee competition format focused on workflow. Teams compete for to make 8 drinks as fast as they possibly can, fielding extra challenges along the way (up to and including cup stamping and compost digging).
All day time trials pitted 20 teams against the clock, while outside the stadium an engaging series of lectures advanced the day. Occupational therapist and certified hand therapist Heidi Blackie presented on ergonomics, offering tips and trick and how to stay safe and healthy behind the bar; Scott Callender of La Marzoco spoke about the evolution of the La Marzocco product line, drawing together big ideas about the history of espresso technology along the way; Nathanael May of Pacific Foods talked about sustainability at the cafe level; Blas Alfaro of Fulcrum Coffee Roasters led an epic cupping alongside the Alliance for Coffee Excellence; and much, much more.
Come late afternoon we had our 8 teams, representing 8 different coffee companies from across the region. And by night the Fulcrum roastworks transformed into a dreamy summer beach scene, with LaCroix for all and side work surprises for some. Inside a pop-up coffee stadium, 8 teams did battle throughout the night, competing for prizes including a brand new Tokyo Bike, a cool $300 in Visa gift cards, an epic trophy, and eternal bragging rights.
A packed, mobbed Seattle coffee community crowd quickly turned the scene into a standing room only affair, with MC Josh Littlefield at the helm (and turntables) of a raucous event. Crush The Rush is as though a coffee competition broke out at a really good party—in many ways this is the coffee even we’ve been waiting years for here in America.
In the end team Watson’s Counter (led by Natalia Guempel, Liezel Villanueva and James Lim) took home top honors, securing a prize purse and municipal bragging rights. Next up the tour moves on to San Francisco for another full day of education, panels and live talks, alongside another wild running of the Crush The Rush event format.
Who will advance to win the next region? What surprises does the next round have in store? And can the rush—that almighty, unyielding rush—ever truly be crushed? Only time will tell.
Follow @Sprudge on Instagram for much more coverage from Crush The Rush Seattle.
Sprudge is the official media partner of Crush The Rush.