The spirit, warmth, and love of the Southern coffee community shines through at Methodical Coffee’s TNT
By Sarah Richmond
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE
The great wave of Southern hospitality continues to gain momentum across the Southeast, and it found its way through the doors of Methodical Coffee in Greenville, S.C. on a recent Thursday night. The acclaimed multiple roaster café welcomed industry professionals and the public for a wildly fun Thursday Night Throwdown (TNT) competition comprised of epic prizes for the winners as well as complementary copies of Barista Magazine to all who attended.
Much loved owners Will Shurtz, Marco Suarez, and David Baker seem to embody the gift of warm reception, making every person feel welcomed and special. œCustomer hospitality at Methodical has a lot to do with being friendly and sincere, not just polite, although we appreciate and expect that, too,” says Will. “People need to be able to see that baristas of great coffee bars don’t bite, and we love everyone across all spectrums of social status ”not just young, ‘hip’ college students.
The event was a sincere reflection of warmth and kindness, exceptional commitment to craft coffee, and wheels-off fun-hogging all night long. Alex Reubert and Sammi Eubanks, both roasters for 1000Faces Coffee in Athens, Ga., drove nearly two hours to show their support at the event. œThe cool thing about coffee culture in the Southeast is that the market isn’t oversaturated yet,” Alex said. “When a new café or roaster appears, it’s exciting news. Additionally, there is still time to set the tone for coffee culture in the Southeast ”it doesn’t have to mimic other regions of the U.S. It can be wholly unique.
The celebration of friendly competition among coffee professionals included participants from Tandem Coffee (Traveler’s Rest, S.C.), Coffee & Crema (Greenville, S.C.), The Village Grind (Greenville, S.C.), 1000Faces Coffee (Athens, Ga.), Not Just Coffee (Charlotte, N.C.), Vortex Doughnuts (Asheville, N.C.), Due South Roasters (Taylors, S.C.), and Mountain Air Roasting (Asheville, N.C.). Each competitor poured into antique Blue Willow china cups, unique to Methodical, which serves as their daily coffee wares to its customers.
The competition was comprised of bracket-style elimination, with a five-dollar buy-in and free-pour-only rule. The first round was barista’s choice for latte art, while round two required baristas to pour into a variety of vessels preselected by the staff of Methodical. The final round came down to the luck of the draw: Each competitor was given a latte art challenge, ranging from double rosettas to a swan to a six stacked tulip.
When we in the coffee industry experience an event that truly inspires, it’s worth mentioning beyond the event itself. The shared desire to prepare exceptionally crafted coffees at Methodical was taken seriously, but not at the cost of spoiling the opportunity to connect with the customer. There is a great light that passes through the exchange of coffee and conversation among the staff at Methodical that captures both the spirit of craft coffee and humanity. It’s refreshing to see a cohesive team of individuals demonstrating this all on their own, and each in their own way. Greenville, S.C., is a magical place ”just walk through the doors of Methodical and you’ll understand why.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Richmond is a recent transplant to the Asheville, NC area from Berkeley, Calif., where she brings over 10 years of experience in the coffee industry. Wearing many hats over the years as a barista, trainer, coffee roaster, manager, and lover of all things coffee, she is most passionate about the growing coffee community in Asheville and its neighboring states. When she is not turning coffee brown, Sarah can usually be found hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her fiancée and their 1 year old pup, Mack. Sarah and her family live in a cabin in the woods located in Black Mountain, N.C., and are enjoying the fullness good mountain living can bring!