The Coffee Club Latte Art SmackDown

On Friday I had the pleasure of being invited to be a guest judge for a latte art competition with The Coffee Club (TCC) at their Brisbane HQ.

The event was held on their rooftop in South Bank, the sun was streaming down (ahhh Brisbane, you make me so happy), the coffee flowing and TCC crew were in fine spirits. Fitting I was a latte art judge when I take more pictures of coffee than I drink!

The setup was impressive. Expansive views of the city set the scene among TCC banners, two official judging tables, two barista stations, a rockin’ emcee and a big screen TV live streamed from two different cameras to show all the action.

Adam from Lion Nathan was my Judge-In-Crime and we had a blast! We were the Latte Art judges for the inter-department competition. We had so much fun and I learnt a bunch about latte art judging. For instance, you need to keep an eye out for…

  • Balance and symmetry
  • Harmony and positioning in cup
  • Clarity of design and the contrast
  • Quality of the milk texture

It was a tough call but in the end Sharon took out the competition. The best part of it all? Watching TCC departments get into it and support their colleagues – they were having a ball and it was contagious.

By the time the beer and pizza came out the other competition (the main event), the barista competition was in full swing. With three World Latte Art Competition Judges in attendance it was an amazing experience for all of the contestants.

Craig Simon, an award-winning barista and roaster (Australian Barista Champion 2014 and 2012, fourth-placed World Barista Championship 2014, licensed Q grader, Veneziano Coffee Roasters head roaster 2010-2012) held an impromptu latte art master class. I thought there were a lot of camera’s out for the competitions, but this was like a media call!

Congratulations to Sara who took out the top prize and thanks to the crew for inviting me in to see the awesome culture they are fostering – full of passion and pride.

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