Editor’s note: Our friends at Onyx Coffee Lab in Fayetteville, Arkansas, contacted us in November for support of their barista jam scheduled for mid-December, and of course we were totally stoked to help however we could! We sent magazines for them to give away to attendees, and some prizes for the winners of the latte art throwdown.
Jon Allen of Onyx Coffee Lab just wrote to me with a couple photos and some news about how the event went. We’re excited to share it with you here!
On Friday the 13th [of December], the finest of baristas from Northwest Arkansas and surrounding regions converged at Onyx Coffee Lab to see whose skills would stand up to the pressure and the ever impending haze from the coffee stout provided by Ozark Beer Company. With the prizes of a one year subscription from Barista Magazine, an engraved tamper from Espresso Parts, swag from Ozark Beer Company, and of course, cash hanging in the balance, the competition was fierce. Many competitors had met before at various throw downs in the area, and so most knew what they were up against. The cafe was packed with competitors from six different coffeehouses and their cohorts, and there were many others who came to watch and cheer and test out the cappuccinos and the coffee stout. The scene played out on the ever sleek and capable mod bar. Through four rounds of competitions spectators saw the likes of rosettas, complex tulips, rippled hearts, and the ever elusive inverted tulip. The final round called for two drinks to be made: one in a six-ounce cappuccino cup and the other in a three-ounce demitasse. The music turned to the final countdown, and when the smoke cleared it was Onyx’s own manager Charis Lykins who executed a perfectly matching three-tiered tulip in both cups. A big thanks to all our sponsors and all the people who came out to participate and watch. The coffee scene in Northwest Arkansas is growing and the support for such events is expanding. —Jon Allen