Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Thursday Night Throwdown: a latte art tournament at Cuvée Coffee in Austin
The Joy of Drinking doesn't have to be just about booze. Whatever it is that you love to imbibe, we're here to celebrate it. This post is for all you coffee geeks out there.
I recently attended a latte art tournament in Austin, Texas, and it was amazing. There's one tournament a month held at Couvee's brick and mortar, which you should definitely go to if you're in Austin. Couvee is famous for their roast house, and the coffee shop is relatively new. There's no WiFi, so you don't have to deal with the camped out techies, and the coffee is incredible.
As we do here in Texas, this competition is serious business. There's even a jumbotron, which really excited the cameramen:
The tournament itself is relatively simple. Baristas face off, two at a time, to create the perfect piece of latte art.
The espresso is prepared for them, but the contestants obviously have to steam the milk themselves since getting the right froth is key to a good design.
The vast majority of competitors took this showdown very seriously, and many a good barista fell to nerve-induced shaky hands. The guy below, though, was steady as can be.
The first round contestants had to make a heart. Those who advanced had to make tulips. The tulip round survivors had to make a freakin' swan. The final round was rosettes. Below is the swan.
The walk from the service station to the judges' table was ] often a nerve-wracking experience:
As was the wait while the judges deliberated:
These three latte art experts took their jobs very seriously, examining each cup closely.
Then, when they all selected their favorites, they would count down. Three, two, one, point:
The winners basked in their hard earned glory:
Though victors were gracious, defeat still stung.
The two finalists wait for the decision:
The winner, right, smiles humbly. The vanquished is in good spirits.
Why should you try to go to one of these events? First, it's a ton of fun. People cheer on their favorites and collectively groan when a competitor spills his or her milk. The excitement is contagious. If that doesn't sell you, there's also lots of free coffee. You can tell when people have had a few lattes, something about their eyes:
Couvee Coffee Bar
2000 E 6th St.
Austin, TX 78702
Beer, coffee, pastries served. TNT's occur once a month.