Trevor Corlett is one of those guys who was born to run a successful company—good thing for us, he chose coffee as his focus. After earning his keep as a barista for years, Trevor burst onto the scene by opening MadCap Coffee in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 2008. The roaster-retailer quickly established itself as a Grand Rapids favorite, and then to a regional powerhouse. Ryan Knapp, now a co-owner of the company, bought and roasted exceptional coffees from the start, and also found time to compete alongside Trevor in barista competitions. Both have enjoyed massive success; Trevor’s achievement of placing in the 2013 USBC finals is his second such one.
MadCap’s success and reputation grew fast, and in 2011, Trevor moved his wife and three daughters to Washington, D.C., to begin the groundwork for MadCap’s new venture: a roastery and cafe in the D.C. area. Under the care of Ryan, the Grand Rapids operation continues to thrive.
Trevor’s performance is all about seasonality, which I couldn’t be more thrilled about. Like Pete, he’s using a Colombian coffee—this one grown by Didier Reinoso from Tolima Colombia. He’s using coffees from this farm from two different harvests: the last July harvest and the last December harvest. He tells the judges he will begin with the July harvest, which possesses “older, much softer, much more tamed flavors, which I feel is the perfect environment for the cappuccinos.”
He tells the judges he actually found the older harvest worked better with milk than the December harvest.He advised his judges to look for sweet golden raisin, brown sugar, and a milk chocolate finish.
“Espresso in my opinion is one of the purest ways to enjoy coffee,” he says. “The beautiful thing about the fresh harvest is that how vibrant, intense and fruity not just the flavors are but also the aromatics.”
As his judges are drinking the espressos, he begins work on his sig drink. Trevor’s got this big plywood box set up on his judges’ table. He’s served his espressos and cappuccinos on top of the box, but the box is open on his side of the table, with his signature drink tools hidden inside. So Trevor is right now pulling out his glassware and drink making implements. As the judges finish their notes on the espresso, he pulls shots into little white ceramic pitchers.
He tells the judges he has combined both harvests for his signature drink: two shots from the July harvest, and two shots from the Dece,ber harvest.
To the July shots, he adds Grade B maple syrup (which is lighter than regular maple syrup) and egg whites, to create a foam that will be light and subtle.
And he adds reduced grapefruit juice to the December harvest shots in the glasses—”that’s a lot of acidity, right?” he asks the judges—then adds the foam to the top, then pulls out a small tray with tiny chunks of grapefruit on them. On those, he sprinkles some raw sugar, then burns them with a blow torch to caramelize the sugars.” It’s a beautiful drink.
Trevor has made some excellent points about the importance of understanding coffee seasonality during this performance, but he’s also been playful and engaging. It was a beautiful performance to watch.
FINAL TIME: 14.56