Kiwi baris­tas com­pete at Latte Champs


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 high­lighted artis­tic ex­pres­sion in a com­pe­ti­tion plat­form that chal­lenged 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 had two com­po­nents, to cre­ate a sin­gle cre­ative pat­tern within 10 min­utes, and to make two iden­ti­cal free-pour lat­tes and two iden­ti­cal de­signer lat­tes in eight min­utes, be­fore the top six com­peti­tors com­pete in a fi­nal round.

Head judge David Huang said they were look­ing for many dif­fer­ent things in their judg­ing process.

‘‘We look for in­no­va­tive de­signs, that baris­tas are will­ing to push the bound­aries, un­der-


Michael Boyd’s latte dragon.

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