Bizarre Ingredient Challenge, Latte Art Excellence & More at DC Campus, Day 2

The liquid category

The sunshine, the new friends, the unending laughter: it feels like barista summer camp all up in here! Welcome to Day 2 of DC Campus, the remarkable 3-day event hosted by Dalla Corte in Milano that brings national champions from latte art and coffee in good spirits competitions together to practice, share ideas, and have a lot—a LOT—of fun.

Relaxing in the sun in the Dalla Corte loft courtyard.

Relaxing in the sun in the Dalla Corte loft courtyard.

After yesterday’s information-packed day, when the baristas all heard from World Coffee Events’ Sonja Grant about the rules for both the World Latte Art Championship and the World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship—which will bring these baristas back together again when they take place in Nice, France, in late June—today was dominated by some super creative and fun events for the champs to work on in teams.

But first, the day began with the continuation of a conversation started yesterday at the Dalla Corte factory, when the baristas wanted to know why Dalla Corte favors 54mm baskets to 58mm baskets.

The baristas were captivated by Paolo Dalla Corte's reasoning behind the way he builds his machines.

The baristas were captivated by Paolo Dalla Corte’s reasoning behind the way he builds his machines.

Christian Klatt of Mahlkönig followed this spirited debate with a discussion about how his company’s grinders work, answering questions about such topics as flat versus conical, ventilation, and so on.

A delicious lunch was followed by some behind-the-scenes dirty work: you see, Sonja, Michael, and I thought it would be a fantastic idea for the coffee in good spirits champions to have a little fun—make that frustration—along with their afternoon team competition. We made a list of the craziest ingredients we could think of—gummy bears, cookies, soda pop, peppers, marshmallows—you get my drift. Antonella made a trip to the market, and soon, we had all the ingredients laid out in a mock “store” for the coffee in good spirits champs to choose from.

The teams of two had to choose at least one item from the four categories: fruits, green herbs and vegetables, liquids, and “special treats.” They had 5 minutes to “shop,” another 15 minutes to come up with a hot and also a cold alcoholic coffee beverage that uses all of the special ingredients, and 5 minutes to prepare and serve to the judges. The caveat? Their judges were the national latte art champs!

Before this however, an exciting and spirited latte art competition simulation took place, with teams pouring drinks to match, one after the other.

While we wait to hear which latte art champ and which coffee in good spirits champs won their mock competitions, here are some fun shots from the day…

And without further ado…

Team Poland-Spain-France wins the latte art challenge!

Team Poland-Spain-France wins the latte art challenge!

Team France-Spain wins the coffee in good spirits weird ingredient challenge!

Team France-Spain wins the coffee in good spirits weird ingredient challenge!

We’re almost at the end of the day—super excited for tonight, which will include a soy milk throwdown, and a lasagna and pizza feed. Mama mia! Come back often for more updates from right here in the heart of Milano, where national latte art champs and coffee in good spirits champs are friends, teammates, and superstars.

 

 

About the Author

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.