Latte artists vie for top spot
They came, they poured, they painted.
There were intricate patterns and creative designs, a rainbow of colours - and even a couple of loved up, painted pukeko.
The smell of fresh coffee permeated every corner and the hiss of milk being steamed set the scene for the 2017 New Zealand Latte Art Championship, held in Newmarket over the weekend.
Eight competitors from around the country battled it out for top spot, with the winner heading to Budapest, Hungary, in June to represent New Zealand at the international awards. Leo Li, from Atomic Cafe in Kingsland, Auckland, took out the overall title.
The Latte Art Championship highlights artistic expression in a competition platform that challenges the barista in an ondemand performance.
Latte art is achieved by pouring steamed milk into a shot of espresso to create patterns or by painting pictures on the surface.
The preliminary round has two components, to create a single creative pattern within 10 minutes, and to make two identical free-pour lattes and two ident- ical designer lattes in eight minutes, before the highestscoring six competitors compete in a final round.
Judge David Huang said judges were looking for many different things in their judging process.
‘‘We look for innovative designs, that baristas are willing to push the boundaries, understand the rules and regulations of the competition, that they can deliver art that’s clear, that’s got a decent amount of creativity, contrast, that they understand the combinations of milk and coffee and how that will be presented in the cup.
‘‘We look at their free pour and how they maintain that shine across the top of the drink, we want very glossy, velvety milk, and we look at the texture.’’
Judge Kim Boyd said they were looking for not just technical skills, but someone who could represent New Zealand well on a world stage.
‘‘We’re looking for the whole package, someone who can pour beautiful latte art but who’s also hospitable and is a wonderful representation of what specialty coffee is, and who can deliver that to their customers and on the world stage as well.’’
Turn to p5 to check creations from the weekend.
Baristas competed in the New Zealand Latte Art Championship in Newmarket in the weekend. KimBoyd