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.