Pretty much the only acceptable excuse for you not having heard about Pacific’s new Barista Series Almond Original by now is that you were trapped in a hermetically sealed bubble for the past four months. Folks have been going bananas for this product since it was released in January.
Led by the terrific Debra Kaminski, Pacific’s team was both exhaustive and exacting in developing this almond beverage specifically with the needs of baristas in mind: it had to steam well, and it had to taste good, meaning it had to go well with espresso. Deb enlisted the help of some fantastic Portland, Ore.-based baristas to help in the creation of this product (Pacific is located in the Portland suburb of Tualatin)—leading the charge were Devin Chapman (formerly of Coava Coffee and now working in Los Angeles for Verve) and Nathanael May, who operates the Cupping Room and espresso bar for Portland Roasting.
After many months of research and testing, back-to-the-drawing-board and trying again and again, Deb and her team are thrilled with the final result—and so are baristas. In a twist in the monthly Pacific Northwest Thursday Night Throwdown series’ December event, baristas were charged with using Pacific’s Barista Series Almond to make their drinks. The results were fantastic, and the baristas were thrilled to find an almond beverage they could be proud to serve their customers.
Now that she knows the discerning Pacific Northwest barista contingent is comprised of believers, Deb wants to take that message to the greater coffee community—and what better place to do that than the SCAA show next week in Seattle?
Pacific is excited to announce that they will host a Barista Series Almond Latte Art Throwdown at their SCAA booth—#15114—on Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Not only is it cool that anyone will have a chance to play with this popular non-dairy offering, but you could win some big money, as well: first place will take $500; $250 will go to second place; and the third-place finisher will get $100.
Here are the details:
• Sign up is first come, first served, at Pacific Foods’ booth #15114, starting when the SCAA floor opens on Friday at 11 a.m.
• There will be between 24 and 30 competitors (time allowing)
• Baristas will have an opportunity to practice pouring with the Barista Series Almond before competing. Once their competition time begins, they will have five minutes to prepare their latte art.
• Baristas do not need to be present throughout the event. After you’ve poured your drink, a photo will be taken of it. The photo will be on display at Pacific’s booth throughout the show with the other entries. Judges will evaluate the photos to make their final decision.
• Winners will be announced at the Pacific booth at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 26.• Almond latte art creations will be judged by Matt Milletto (American Barista & Coffee School); Anna Gutierrez (Gourmet Source), and Sarah Allen (Barista Magazine). Anna, Matt, and Sarah judge latte art as a team on a regular basis at the Coffee Fest trade shows.
Sounds like Pacific Foods’ booth is going to be one of the most hoppin’ spots on the SCAA show floor! Whether you want to take part in the Barista Series Almond Latte Art Throwdown as a competitor, or just to check out the quality of latte art that can be poured using the product, be sure to stop by Pacific’s booth #15114 during SCAA Seattle!