40 Madhouse Throwdown, 1/30/2015

February 1, 2015

A bit of an interim between throwdowns, but back in fashion three blocks from Fash Ave, we gathered on Madison Avenue. Over at the Mad House/Madhaus, our latest store on 40th, we got the show on the road and began to settle the champs from the well-qualified; and, as sure as time makes work of yellow hair, there was a victor worthy of a crown *to spot in picture below* by the end of proceedings. The stage was set like everyone's favorite wake up call, with the store chock-full of baristas and latte cups waiting to be filled: 

Hudson on show

 

All fun and games, but not without competition: each contestant pools a fiver for entry, making quite a steep tally by the time everyone's included. Phillipe, assistant manager at 40th & Madison, is a prime example of cut-throat no-jokes once it comes to the pour - an affable guy besides that, though. 

Philippe death-stare

Game On 

Latte arting

Got Game

Competition and crowds = unsteady hands and nerves for some. Even ego, not unknown to competition, is a hazard to contend with: a simple heart - wholesome, unapologetic - can be fuller and more radiant than a warped seven-tier tulip driven by the mad hands of a barista with money-vision. Much like poetry, this latte art business involves a certitude in skill and the heavenly bodies in order for success to be found. The quarter finals were quite certain of this certitude: 

Latte art on point

 

The semi-finals were an interesting one. Visited Gregorys and witnessed us wielding Aeropress plungers when making delicious single origins? Well, we were using those plungers for latte art - less space to play with requires more nerve (that mind-bending fiber) and skill. Here were the results:

Plunge pour

Pressure on in air-pressure plungers

Have we a winner in sight already? With the benefit of hindsight, this keyboard would like to think so. Each semi-finalist could stake a claim as one of our finest female baristas, but one in particular was a step above the rest on the night on January 30th, 2015. She goes by the name of Dilyn and comes from Croatia - she also goes by Chimi for her love of chimichangas. Here she is with the prized latte that won her the finals and all that $$$$: 

Winner time

We're on to a winner

With all done and dusted, it's up to all our stored breath to wait for the next in-house throwdown and barista champion. Until then, buy coffee, think about it, drink it.