Austin Latte Art Smackdown
Want a little art with your addiction? If so, you are most likely a latte art lover like me. There is nothing better than a barista (aka espresso artist) who creates a beautiful tulip or rosetta with a flourish before sliding a mug of freshly brewed joe across the bar.
Visiting D.C. a little over a year ago, I enjoyed the beautiful latte art creations at M.E. Swing. I’ve also been the recipient of a very cool star at Teo in Austin. I’ve since learned that stars are not admissible in latte art competitions since those are usually freestyle with no tools allowed.
When I received a direct message on Twitter from Lorenzo Perkins, catering manager of Caffe Medici, asking me to judge a latte art competition taking place at Owl Tree Roasting for Edible Austin’s Eat Local Week, I couldn’t refuse!
For more information on the event, which took place back in December, click here.
As it turns out, the competition that I happily judged, along with Jenee Ovitt of Once Over Coffee Bar and David Alan of The Tipsy Texan, is a pretty regular event in Austin. It’s called the Saturday Night Smackdown and includes professional baristas competing in an event to show off their latte art skills and build street cred, winning a little cash along the way.
Jenee was a great help to David and I in showing us how to grade the latte art by competitors from Austin and around the state including empl0yees of Caffe Medici, Once Over Coffee (Jenee’s husband actually), Cuvee Coffee, Frank, and more showed their talent in categories that included balance & symmetry, color infusion & definition, use of space, and overall impression.
Here are some examples of the beauties we saw:
To enter or attend a future Saturday Night Smackdown, subscribe to the RSS feed. Also, the South Central Regional Barista Championship will take place THIS WEEK on Jan. 7-10 at the Sheraton Austin at 701 E. 11th Street and you can likely see more latte art there. The winner of this competition will advance to the semi-final round and the winner of the national competition will represent the United States in the World Barista Championship in London this June. How sweet would it be if that person was from the ATX?
UPDATE: Lorenzo Perkins from Caffe Medici won the SCRBC and will be moving on to the semi-final round!Tags: barista, Caffe Medici, coffee, edible austin, judge, once over coffee, Owl Tree, teo, tipsy texan