Editor’s note: Our friend Todd Goldsworthy of Klatch Coffee is successfully organizing a bitchen series of TNT events in Southern California called LA TNT. The series kicked off in April and will continue through November, with a showdown against the Bay Area Coffee Community. Barista Magazine is super stoked to be the media sponsor of the LA TNT series, and as such, we publish Todd’s reviews of the events in the days after it happened. Todd’s also awesome about sending us loads of photos from the TNTs so that even if we can’t be there, we’re sort of there. You know what I mean. Anyway, thanks, Todd!
By Todd Goldsworthy
Los Angeles continued the LA TNT series with the May 9th event being held at Fix Coffee Company in Echo Park. Registration began at 6:30 p.m. with a plan to fill 32 competitor spots, and by 6:40 p.m., we’d made that goal. With many baristas still wanting to compete, we re-wrote the bracket and filled 48 competitor slots with ease, and the pours began just after 7.
Despite the intermittent rain, about 80 people came out to compete, observe, drink beer, or get some great grub from the Patty Wagon Food Truck that was serving up some tasty burgers.
The competition rules have remained the same since LA TNT kicked off in April, with first round competitors pouring hearts, second round competitors pouring rosettas, and third round competitors pouring tulips. The fourth round, which consisted of the top 6 baristas, poured their choice of design into very challenging shaped beer glasses.
First place honors went to Runei Matsumoto from Coffee Tomo, with Jennifer Chun from Coffee Code in second. Kyuho Choi from Iota Brew Cafe took third place. In the final round, these three had to pour using nonfat milk. Say whaaaa? For the final pour of the night, Runei brought out his own cup for the pour and the win.
Of course, these events could not be possible without the support of our wonderful sponsors at Barista Magazine, Espresso Parts, Klatch Coffee Roasters, La Marzocco, Natvia, Baratza, and Verve Coffee Roasters.
Runei will move forward to the big final round in November, where the winners of all the monthly LA TNT events will square off in battle to become the 2013 LA TNT champion. The winner from LA in November will fly to San Francisco to compete against the Bay Area Coffee Community in an ultimate throwdown battle.
Thank you again to our amazing hosts at FIX, our fantastic sponsors, and the amazing volunteers that jumped in to pull shots, MC, judge, and help out. Our next competition will be held on Thursday June 13th at Tiago Espresso Bar in Hollywood on the corner of Hollywood Blvd and La Brea. Registration will begin at 6:30 p.m., $5 to throwdown, and pours will begin around 7 p.m.
Don’t forget to follow us on twitter @LosAngelesTNT and like us on facebook.com/LosAngelesTNT for all the updates.