From March 5-8, the Oregon Convention Center in Portland is hosting the United States Barista Championship. Leading up to the USBC, I’m showcasing baristas who placed in the Top 6 in their respective region and decided to compete for greater glory. Meet Trevor Corlett from MadCap Coffee in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a Great Lakes Regional Barista Competition Finalist and a contender for the American coffee crown.
Josh Lurie: Did anything surprise you about your regional competition?
Trevor Corlett: My making the finals with the level of competition that was there was pretty surprising for me. Thankfully my coffee rocks and it really carried me.
JL: Will adjust your approach for the United States Barista Championship? If so, how?
TC: Definitely. I’m tweaking my signature drink a little and trying to iron out some of my technical errors.
JL: What is your goal at the USBC?
TC: My goal is to simply continue improving my overall score and try not to get in the way of the coffee.
JL: What did you learn by competing at your regional?
TC: If you are intentional about sourcing great coffee and you know the score sheets you can do well.
JL: What’s your training schedule like until the USBC?
TC: Well, unfortunately I only have a week. However, if I’m lucky it consists of a couple hours a night after the shop closes up or after the kids go to bed.
JL: What’s a coffeehouse you didn’t know about before your regional competition that you now plan to visit?
TC: I don’t know of any unfamiliar shops that were represented at regionals. Well, except for ours considering we only opened 5 weeks ago.
JL: What’s your approach in choosing the music that plays during your performance?
TC: I use whatever music I’m most into at the time. Its usually stuff that we are playing in the shop as well so that if I’m lucky I’ll feel as comfortable as I do behind my own bar.