Latte Art Throw Down

This past weekend, our friend, cafe owner and reigning Auckland barista champion, David Huang, hosted a bbq and latte art throw down for Auckland baristas.  About 20 people, including 10 of Auckland’s top baristas, turned up to enjoy some grilled delicacies and go head to head with their latte art skillz.

With the pressure on, many competitors were slightly disppointed with their work, and in the end, the seasoned veteran won.

David’s winning latte art is featured on the left below.

I (Mel) got to be a judge, and let me tell you, there were some tough calls that had to be made.  When juding latte art, the 3 things you are looking for are:

-contrasting colors between the milk and the crema (espresso)

-cemetery of design

-visual aesthetics (definition, intricacy)

I personally felt there needed to be a more definite ranking system, stating which criteria has priority over others, for such instances when Cup A has more definition but is lacking a bit in symmetry, but Cup B has great symmetry but is less intricate and defined.  It’s a tough job being the judge of a latte art competition, especially when you’re husband one of the competitors!

I even had the chance to give a first attempt at latte art myself.

I went head to head against another rookie, and believe it or not, came out on top.  (It was the strong contrast between the milk and the crema in my design that won the judges’ vote).  Trying it once made me want to practice again and get good at it.  Maybe when Brendon starts working at a cafe, I’ll come in one nite with a jug of milk and get Brendon to teach me all of his secrets.

Beware of Team Neilson at future Auckland latte art throw downs.

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