Love Your Latte Art? So Does The Rest Of The Competitive World
We all know what it feels like to delicately sip the edges of our favorite latte in reverence for the foam creation our barista brought to life on the surface of our favorite indulgence. The visual spell is straight-up behavior altering. The only thing that slows us down and enables us to resist the urge to consume that morning shot of espresso faster than one can say macchiato is pure awe. As lovers of all things stylishly caffeinated, we are dear and lifetime appreciators of the aesthetic. We love the pretty.
A Whole New Level
Well, if you think your hole-in-the-wall third wave coffee shop’s barista has a monopoly on pretty, think again. The aesthetic indulgence of latte art has made its way far outside your borough of the city into the limelight of a global stage. Trivial designs? Think again. The simple appreciation of the latte craft is beginning to connect more continents than the harvesting of coffee beans themselves. That’s right—your favorite latte art just became more international than your prized-possession Columbian brew. The new arena for the battle of caffeinated beauty is the World Latte Art Championship. The Championship provides a platform for extraordinarily talented baristas to demonstrate their artistic abilities and on-demand productions, fighting it out for the finest foam in the world.
The competition, hosted year to year in different nations, begins with a preliminary round consisting of a single creative latte pattern, then advances to a series of free-pour and designer lattes (which permit stylistic technologies such as etching and decoration). These are judged both on their quality and consistency if two identical cups are required by the pourer. Only 12 baristas qualify for the semi-finals, which continue to include both latte and macchiato art. A mere 6 artists are given a pass into the final round of artistic pursuit. The top-scoring barista is crowned… drum role please… The World Latte Art Champion!
Thinking you could do this?
Think again. The visual score sheet is just downright grueling, providing a critique of categories upon categories we didn’t know existed behind the espresso bar counter. These judges aren’t just pausing to admire as we do over the morning paper: they are grading whether or not the two patterns and presented pictures are identical, the visual foam quality, the contrast between ingredients, the harmony, the size and position among patterns in the cup, the creativity of the pattern, the successfully achieved level of difficulty and the overall appealing look. I mean, can you imagine? I don’t know about you, but there’s no way my morning cup of coffee would meet their expectations for harmonious existence. This is not kid stuff.
Sharing the Latte Love…Globally
From the first competition hosted in 2006, the World Latte Art Competition has built a name for itself in its attraction of internationally caffeinated ingenuity. In the 2017 World Latte Art Championship in Budapest, the diverse community of courageous baristas who came out to perform their coffee craft represented 39 countries, from Great Britain to Taiwan. What’s that we love about coffee? Its unique ability to bring people together? Major points for this uniting brewed beverage. Sing it proudly with me, coffee enthusiasts: We are the world… We are the children…
Intrigued? Tune in to the next World Latte Art Competition to be amazed, astonished and, most importantly, see just how good your hometown foam is.