Even Dean & DeLuca Wants Into Latte Art Craze

The publicist from Dean & DeLuca emailed to let me know that the worldwide purveyor of fine foods, wine and kitchenware, Dean & DeLuca, will be hosting its first-ever latte art competition, along with Counter Culture Coffee, at D&D’s shop in the New York Times building, 620 Eighth Ave. (at 40th St .), in New York, at 3 p.m. Wednesday, February 23.

OK, so yeah, this isn't traditional latte art. But it's still cute, you gotta admit.

Considering the crazy good coffee scene going on in New York these days, with the likes of Gimme!, Stumptown, Grumpy, Gorilla, and Intelligentsia all offering fantastic roasted coffees, along with Counter Culture, of course, this is likely worth a looksy. “In early 2009, Dean & DeLuca partnered with Counter Culture Coffee to place a greater emphasis on barista education and the quality of coffee served. Now, all Dean & DeLuca baristas are trained by Counter Culture’s industry-leading staff, and many have learned how to top lattes and cappuccinos with beautiful designs like hearts and tulips. Our goal with this competition is to give our baristas the opportunity to have some fun, and we want to get the word out about the impressive latte art they’re pouring, reads the press release. Wish I could beam myself over to New York to see for myself, but I’ll be in that neck of the woods soon enough for Coffee Fest (March 5 “7 at the Meadowlands in New Jersey).

Don't forget Brooklyn in the background!

But if YOU are able to make it, let us know how it goes! It’s free and open to the public. And one last thing: anyone who has been involved with promoting the specialty coffee industry through latte art competitions should give themselves a pat of the back– setting the standard for biggie companies is something to be proud of.

About Sarah 934 Articles
Sarah Allen (she/her) is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Seriously? That’s a bummer! When I read this story it seemed like a much cooler experience, or at least passably entertaining. Thanks for checking it out for us though.

  2. This “game” is actually a pretty clever marketing scheme in that it takes you directly to the checkout screen of Black Sunshine’s website with your order details filled out according to your in-game responses. The question is whether or not its cleverness makes up for its annoyingly slow “gameplay” and load time, video errors, and laughable setup.

    Still, the idea of an online game based on the coffee industry might not be a bad idea, especially if it can be used to raise awareness of coffee growing and roasting quality and concepts like fair trade. There was a pretty humorous game a few years ago called “McDonalds Videogame” that parodied the fast food monopoly, marketing tactics, food farming, and cattle usage. Here’s a link, if anyone’s interested: http://www.mcvideogame.com/index.html

  3. I want to make a comment, and mean it with all due respect, as I’m friends with most of the said “staff”, but how did they come up with “industry-leading staff” in the line, “Now, all Dean & DeLuca baristas are trained by Counter Culture ’s industry-leading staff.” I don’t dispute there are amazingly talented people working for Counter Culture, but I think of so many, who are just as talented, who work for different companies. Who determines who staff has the best in the industry? Is there a competition? An award? Is it based on a legit certification? Guess it’s just a standard PR trick, but when I read it, I thought, it seemed preposterous to make that claim.
    Again, I’d say being trained by Lem Butler is a huge thing, he’s one of the best in the country, a good friend, and a three time SERBC not just champion, but destroyer. And I’d say they have some great staff there, including people I’ve worked with on the SCAA’s Professional Development Committee. Heck, Lydia Iianetti is the bees knees, too! Just curious.

  4. I wanted to also say that Rocio is amazing. I flew out to Napa Valley in October to train the baristas at Dean & Deluca St. Helena. Rocio had never poured latte art before I arrived and when I left a week later she was pouring hearts. Rocio is so dedicated to her craft as a barista that she emails me with extraction questions, latte art questions coffee origin questions, etc. She truly is a coffee professional. She won!

Comments are closed.