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BattleCat Barista Training: Brewing New Opportunities With Custom T-Shirts

Unless you’re a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, you’re probably not thinking too deeply about that first cup of coffee you make in the morning or the homebrewed espresso you just whipped up. For you, it’s the fuel you need to get through the day, but for Kevin Leal in New York, it’s where careers and passion meet.

For some, coffee shops and espresso bars are a quick pit stop in the day to get drinks and head on to their destination. For others, they’re an experience. You grab your drink, join up with friends, and enjoy the atmosphere. However, to create that atmosphere, serving a quality product is key. Enter BattleCat Barista Training. “I know that there is a shortage of baristas here in NYC,” says Kevin, the founder of BattleCat. “I wanted to create a showroom bar and be able to develop upcoming baristas.” 

Growing up, most people are told to follow their dreams. For Kevin, his dream was a career in quality coffee making and he wanted to make sure other baristas had that same opportunity. When asked what inspired him to create this training program he says that it came down to being able to “really develop the prospect that being in coffee can lead to a career in it.” 


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Rise and shine

A post shared by Kevin Leal (@battlecatbaristatraining) on

A movement was growing in Brooklyn, and the BattleCat team was ahead of the curve in taking it to the next level. They decided to participate as vendors at Sip Shop Eat, a pop-up experience/market featuring all types of foods and drinks from owners in the New York area. Kevin knew that to make the event a success, he’d need something that would catch people’s attention and immediately decided that custom t-shirts were the way to go. As an existing customer of Custom Ink, he knew that getting his custom gear there would ensure that not only would the quality be top-notch, but he’d receive his items hassle-free and, most importantly, super fast. 

custom white t-shirt with battle cat barista logo: a black cat wearing an eye patch

Shirts bearing his logo with a cat sporting an eye-patch went over about as well as anyone would think. People loved them! “People comment it on all the time,” Kevin states. Take one glance at the logo and you can immediately see how anyone would want one on a shirt for themselves. He’s already excited to call in and place another order this month for Crush the Rush, an all-new barista competition from La Marzocco, focused on speed, efficiency, fun, and communitysort of like Custom Ink!

Having a team is amazing. Having a team outfitted in custom gear is even better. It’s an awesome way to not only create awareness but show a sense of unity amongst a group of people working toward the same goal, and BattleCat Barista Training is the personification of that. Check out more of what the team is doing on their site or on Instagram

Inspired to create your own custom t-shirts for your company? Check out Custom Ink to create your own from scratch or using design templates to kick start the process.


Monica has been working with Custom Ink for about 7 years. Although she mostly works as a Designer on the Art & Design team, she enjoys bringing different worlds together through words. When not designing or writing, you can find her traveling to various cons, sporting events or just hanging out with her dog, Benny

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