London Latte Art Smackdown Series Heat 3!

STORY & PHOTOS BY KATE BEARD
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE

For the third week in a row, baristas got steamy after hours at Kaffeine in London.

Of course, I’m talking about all the milk being steamed for the London Latte Art Smackdown. Baristas from Artisan, Look Mum No Hands, Taylor St Baristas, Climpson & Sons, Noble Espresso, Holborn Grind, Kaffeine, and Spicer & Cole (in Bristol!) turned up to the third heat to throw their hats in the ring for £480 cash, as well as other prizes from sponsors Coffee Hit and Square Mile Coffee Roasters.

Overseeing the competitors this week were special guest judges Marty Latham and Pete Garcia of Square Mile, along with head judge Glenn Watson.  

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From left: Glenn Watson, Pete Garcia, Marty Latham.

As the crowd, which gets bigger every week, packed into the shop and munched on moustache-shaped Movember cookies, the competition got underway.

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A crowd gathers in front of the counter at Kaffeine.
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Mo’ cookies, mo’ problems.
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Tullio from Artisan.
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Adrian from LMNH.

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Javek from Taylor St Baristas.
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Alessandro from Artisan.

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The Climpson & Sons team turn out to support their competing baristas, Matt and Manuel.
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Matt from Climpson & Sons.


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Louis from Noble Espresso.


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There was a special guest at the heat this time: a barista from Bristol. (I asked Glenn if baristas from other cities often joined the London competition, and he said it happened rather rarely ”in fact, he couldn’t remember it happening recently.) Renaud from Spicer & Cole came all the way to London to compete in the latte art competition, possibly because there hasn’t been one in Bristol yet.

I asked him afterwards if he and other baristas in there might be starting their own smackdown soon; he said there had been some talk about it.  Until similar competitions pop up in other cities, though, baristas from other cities are welcome at the London events.

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Renaud from Spicer & Cole.
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Shaun from Noble Espresso.

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Manuel from Climpson & Sons.
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Sam from Holborn Grind.

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Gabriel from Noble Espresso.
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Ben from Kaffeine.

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The agony and the ecstasy of competition: will you pour a beautiful tulip, only to knock it with your hand?

When the steam settled, Adrian from Look Mum No Hands and Gabriel and Shaun from Noble Espresso joined the group of finalists heading to Square Mile on November 18th.

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Adrian, Gabriel, and Shaun move on to the finals. Though Ben didn’t make it, he was still in high spirits.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
headshot-1Kate Beard
 is a photographer, writer, travel aficionado, sometimes barista, and coffee obsessive. Born and raised in the South, she absconded to Europe in 2009 to travel and pursue higher education. She’s always seeking out the perfect photo, a good story, a tasty cup of coffee, or a new place to explore – whether at home or abroad. Kate is at her happiest when she can combine all these things at once. She and her two fat guinea pigs, Rosalind and Celia, currently call London home. See more of Kate’s work at  www.asouthernbellein.com  Twitter/Instagram @SBinLondon

 

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