New World Latte Art Competition

It’ll take a while for all the longtime attendee of and competitors in Coffee Fest‘s well-known latte art contests to stop referring to them as the BLANK (starts with an M, ends with an -illrock) Latte Art Competitions, but that title sponsor has stepped down from supporting the competitions—so there’s a new game in town.

Taking this opportunity to completely revamp the popular contests, Coffee Fest‘s David Heilbrunn gathered the competition’s three judges—Barista Exchange‘s Matt Milletto, the Coffee Institute‘s Chris Deferio, and yours truly, Sarah Allen of Barista Mag—for a meeting in Portland recently (Deferio joined by phone) to map out the new format. This scheme will debut at Coffee Fest Minneapolis, June 4–6, and will be—we promise—more exciting and fun than ever! And it’ll still have those big cash prizes attached, of course: $2500 for first place, $1000 for second, and $500 for third.

And all you non-United States barista eading this, listen up: anyone in the world is welcome to compete in the Coffee Fest New World Latte Art Championships, so consider signing up! The New World Latte Art Championships will take place at Coffee Fest Minneapolis, Coffee Fest Seattle (Oct. 29-31) this year, and will continue in 2011.

Here’s the scoop on the new format:

Coffee Fest is pleased to announce the creation and debut of this fresh, exciting and leading edge 32 competitor tournament for the ages. The 32 Competitor format will feature head to head competition as “a match” between the competitors. The competitor receiving the highest score from the three judges will advance and the loser will be eliminated.

Competitors will be given four minutes to produce one drink for the judges to be scored against the competitor at the facing machine on the tournament stage.

Judging will be based on five categories:
1) Aesthetic Beauty
2) Definition
3) Color Infusion
4) Degree of Difficulty and Creativity
5) Speed

Each Drink will be judged by Coffee Fest veteran judges: Matt Milletto of American Barista & Coffee School and Barista Exchange, Sarah Allen of Barista Magazine and Chris Deferio of Coffee Institute, using a ten point must scoring system. Each of the judges will compare the drink presented by each of the two competitors in each match and award 10 points to the competitor with the best presentation in each of the five categories. Judges will award nine points in each category for the drink they consider to be the lesser of the two. The competitor receiving the most points on each of the judge’s scorecard will be the winner in that judges opinion. The competitor advancing will advance by virtue of the judge’s scores of 3 to 0 or 2 to 1.

The New World Latte Art Championships will begin at 9:00am on Friday, 10:30am on Saturday and 10:30am on Sunday at the Minneapolis Coffee Fest, June 4-6, 2010. Interested competitors are encouraged to complete the application and submit to Coffee Fest with pictures of their best pours before the selection committee adjourns to set the field April 28, 2010 for the June show.

The  ultimate champion will earn a grand sum of $2,500. Second place pockets $1,000 and third place earns $500.

Sponsors: Nuova Simonelli provide the Aurelia espresso machines and MDX Grinders. Dillanos provides the coffee and competitors may use their own tampers, steaming pitchers and cups. Barista Magazine is the coffee industry’s premiere publication. Ghirardelli Chocolate Company joins the list of proud sponsors.

To participate in the New World Latte Art Championship, please fill out an application for and return to Coffee Fest by April 28, 2010.

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.