Thanks to one of the bestest bands ever, Magnetic Fields, I had the song “Washington, D.C.” (from the record, 69 Love Songs, Volume 2) spinning in my head for all of last weekend, as we traipsed around Coffee Fest D.C., the Millrock Latte Art Championship, and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Barista Competition. (Thanks, Stephin Merritt!)
The weekend was memorable for more than just my mental soundtrack though—Aldo Coffee‘s Belle Battista won top honors at the Mid-Atlantic Regional after getting close for the past few years, with a signature drink inspired by time she spent in Spain in which she combined espresso with olive oil, salt, chocolate, and a breadstick. Congrats to Belle! (And thanks to Ben Helfin for letting me “borrow” this photo from his Flickr.)
The tradeshow itself was good — more attendance than we expected considering the relatively small show. A shout out to the cool dudes who helped me and Ken out in the booth: Russ, Troy and Michael!
Finally, the Millrock Latte Art Championship was the bomb; who knew a prize purse of $5K could make the competition so much more intense? Congrats to winner Ben Helfin of Octane, who wore his Millrock championship bracelet proudly all day Sunday.
Local and national news tapped into the latte art scene—CBS national news and NPR, for example. My pal, Kevin Fuller of Albina Press glory, texted me last night as I was boarding my homeward bound flight to say he’d just seen yours truly on CBS! Luckily, CBS had the good sense to feature star baristas such as Katie Duris from murky coffee for much longer; she and her fellow milk artisans got the message across quite well, I think. And who can resist chuckling as TV news reporters try their own hand as espresso prep or latte art? Check it out for yourself here:
Check back here tomorrow for more notes from the weekend’s activities. Right now, I’m beat from a lot of travel and fun times and late hours with friends of Barista Magazine. If you’re itching for news, our cover girl M’lissa Muckerman has been industrious about posting updates (in large part, I’m sure, because she’s so durn proud of her pal Ben for winning the latte art gig) on her blog, Tamp This!