Barista Magazine

APR-MAR 2014

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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PHOTO BY DANIEL HENDERSON/WCE P U L L : E V E N T S U.S. LATTE ART CHAMPIONSHIP DEBUTS AT SCAA SEATTLE FOR MOST COFFEE PROFESSIONALS in the United States, latte art competitions bring to mind the exciting Latte Art Championships that take place at every Coffee Fest event through - out the year. There are the fun and light-hearted Thursday Night Throwdowns taking place in hundreds of cities across the nation every week on one end of the spectrum, and on the other, there is the very serious World Latte Art Championship, which has been taking place since 2005. With a complex system of rules and regulations, this revered international competition has awarded top honors to coun - tries including Greece, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Australia, and Belgium. Not once, however, has there been a champion from the United States. Why? A qualify - ing round had never been held in the U.S.—until now. This year marks the first that the U.S. will have an official entrant into the World Latte Art Championship (WLAC), which will take place in Melbourne, Australia, in May. (In 2011, the United States sent Ben Helfen to represent his nation at the World Latte Art Championship in Maastricht, Netherlands. Ben was chosen because he had won the Coffee Fest Latte Art Championship that year.) Twenty hopeful American baristas will take the stage at the Specialty Coffee Association of America's conference in Seattle April 24–26 to try for the chance to win the title of first U.S. Latte Art Champion, and fly Down Under to wage a battle for the international crown. Official Espresso Machine Sponsor of the U.S. Latte Art Championship, as well as for the WLAC, Dalla Corte, is largely responsible for this competition finally coming to fruition. The company's Skip Finley and Sevan Istanboulian spearheaded a cam - paign for the SCAA to host the U.S. Latte Art Exhibition in 2013 in order to test the waters, and in their capable hands, it was a huge success. It's not surprising, however, that Dalla Corte went that far and beyond; the company is in fact such an ally to the WLAC competitors that it annually invites them all to its Milan, Italy, head - quarters to practice and learn together. At the event, DC Campus, the latte art competitors are joined by the national winners who will compete in the World Coffee In Good Spirits Championship, who are also invited by Dalla Corte to the three-day, fun-filled, intensely educational workshop. Dalla Corte is the espresso-machine sponsor of both international contests. As mentioned, the WLAC rules are challenging, and far different than any an American barista might have encountered at a domestic latte art contest. For the complete guidelines, go to www.worldlatteart.org. For a summary of the rules, see page 130. —Sarah Allen Aer aending DC Campus—the three- day workshop sponsored by Dalla Corte, the WLAC Espresso Machine Sponsor—Miguel Lamora Bárcena, the Spanish Lae Art Champion, was in good stead to succeed at the World Lae Art Championship held in Nice, France, in 2013. 28 barista magazine B o o k 1 - 4 4 . i n d d 2 8 Book 1-44.indd 28 3 / 1 9 / 1 4 9 : 5 8 P M 3/19/14 9:58 PM

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