A foamy throwdown
Latte Art contest at Origin Coffee
SARANAC LAKE — Tulips, leaves, hearts and flowers were poured into fresh shots of espresso, as more than two dozen looked on at Origin Coffee Company’s Latte Art Showdown Saturday night.
Eight baristas went head to head in a latte-art-making tournament. Using Specialty Coffee Association regulations and criteria, the art was judged by three coffee shop owners, who pointed to the winning cup in each match-up.
The winner received a cash prize and Origin merchandise.
“Balance, distinct difference between the actual foam and espresso,” Chris Rosenquest, one of the throwdown judges and owner of Chapter One Coffee in Plattsburgh, said of what he was looking for in a winning cup. “Really clean microfoam, the design itself and creativity.”
Origin owner Jacinda Wilson said the event had been in the works for about a month now — it’s a regular thing in large cities where there’s a coffee culture, she said. Usually they’re called Thursday night throwdowns, where baristas from around the area can get together.
“It just takes a steady hand,” said Stacey Judge, Origin barista and event finalist.
“It’s an honor to be invited here this evening,” said Hannah Johnson, owner of Cabra Coffee in Cedar Crest, New Mexico, winner of the night’s event. She said she first got into latte art about four years ago, after meeting Wilson at a barista training camp. The trick to a tournament-winning latte?
“Don’t overthink it,” Johnson said.