A rosetta by any other name: A review of Friday’s Brisbane Latte Art Smackdown

On Friday the crema of the crop (see what I did there – it’s a coffee pun) of Brisbane’s microfoam loving, tulip pouring, jug swirling, baristas rocked up at Veneziano’s First Pour cafe in West End for what my friend Mitch described as “the coolest sub-culture meeting ever.” The $400 in prize money, but more importantly the chance for acclaim from one’s peers, was enough of a draw to attract 47 competitors for a string of head to head latte art elimination battles. Those people brought their people, and Veneziano’s First Pour was packed with coffee lovers.

The hosts pulled out all the stops, with a sausage sizzle, free beer (though that went pretty quickly), and coffee from their brew bar.

Three judges – Queensland Latte Art Champion Scott Luengen, Tim Adams from Tim Adams Specialty Coffee on the Sunshine Coast, and Veneziano’s John-Paul Sutton – scored pourers on contrast, symmetry, and difficulty.

It was a fun night, with some amazing pieces of art produced. Here are some highlights from my phone camera – which struggled a little with the lack of light.

Mike Tam and Josh Russell Cup Specialty Coffee ended up going head to head in the Grand Final.

Here are their last few rounds, and the final itself, in video form. I shot and edited this video on my phone – and uploaded it – the sound goes a bit funny when it switches from video to photos. But you can handle that.

These are the winning pours from Cup’s Josh Russell…

In all, it was a really fun night, with a great vibe. Coffee industry peeps are the coolest, I’m always struck by how friendly people who could view themselves as competitors are with one another, there’s a real sense of camaraderie, and wanting to see the industry move and develop through cooperation – which can only benefit us end users.

Creative design from the South

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