Klatch Korea Hosts Stellar Latte Art Throwdown

DSC00998
Specialty coffee is growing in Korea like nowhere else, and at the top of the game is the beloved SoCal company, Klatch Coffee, which recently opened its first coffeehouse in Seoul.
First of many Klatch Korea Latte Art Throwdowns to come!

First of many Klatch Korea Latte Art Throwdowns to come!

Working with La Marzocco’s Korea branch, Klatch Korea hosted a totally awesome Latte Art Throwdown to kick off the start of the Cafe Show in Seoul, which took place in mid-November. On hand to judge the contest were World Barista Champion Pete Licata, Klatch founder Mike Perry, and La Marzocco Korea’s head honcho, Mira Song.
From left: Mira Song, Mike Perry, and Pete Licata, judging the throw down.

From left: Mira Song, Mike Perry, and Pete Licata, judging the throw down.

(I was supposed to attend the throw down! But my flight got in late from San Francisco and I didn’t make it. Luckily, Holly shared some great photos from the event.)
Holly Perry (in red shirt) is based in Southern California at Klatch Coffee's headquarters, but she's been spending a lot of time in Seoul training the Korean staff.

Holly Perry (in red shirt) is based in Southern California at Klatch Coffee’s headquarters, but she’s been spending a lot of time in Seoul training the Korean staff.

“We had 16 competitors and a lot of people that came just to see the pours and enjoy the evening,” says Holly. “The judges were myself, Mike, Pete, Mira Song (of La Marzocco Korea), and Lorenzo from La Marzocco’s head office. Each round had different rules to keep the competition spontaneous and fun!”
Pete (left) with Lorenzo of La Marzocco.

Pete (left) with Lorenzo of La Marzocco.

For round one, competitors had to draw for what design they were going to pour. The options were heart, rosetta, 3 tier tulip, 5 tier tulip, or baristas choice.

Final four competitors.

Final four competitors.

For round two, baristas had to draw for the design AND the cup! Options were the same designs as round one; cup options included a 10-ounce latte cup, a five-ounce capp cup, a six-ounce square glass, a six-ounce bubble tulip shaped glass, and baristas choice.

The final pours.

The final pours.

For round three, baristas could choose their design and cup. “Interestingly, all of the competitors chose the 10-ounce latte cups and poured crazy intricate designs!” Holly reports.
Pete addresses the crowd.

Pete addresses the crowd.

Top two!

Top two!

Four competitors made it to the final round, and were allowed to choose the cup and design of their choice. “What made this throwdown awesome was that these baristas wanted to challenge themselves,” says Holly. “The final four all decided to use a demitasse  Once again we saw amazing pours and you never would have guessed they had used demitasse cups.”
Mike awards first place.

Mike awards first place.

About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.