STORY & PHOTOS BY KATE BEARD
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE
The last of the preliminary heats of the London Latte Art Smackdown took place at Kaffeine this past Tuesday. Despite having a lower audience turnout than the previous weeks, the pressure and the stakes were just as high. There was still £480 on the line, as well as some fine prizes from sponsors Coffee Hit and Square Mile Coffee Roasters. With only three places left in the final, these baristas had to really strut (er ¦ pour?) their stuff if they wanted a chance at fame, glory, and tons of extra holiday shopping money.
Glenn Watson returned as head judge and was joined by guests Jeremy Challender of Prufrock Coffee and Andrew Tolley of Harris + Hoole. Plenty of new cafes joined the battle this week; we saw entrants from Nude Espresso, Dose Espresso, Curator’s Coffee, Fields Beneath, Lanark, Soho Grind, Alchemy Coffee, Flat Caps Coffee, Black Box Coffee, and Terrone & Co. Coffee Roasters.
There were also some fine Movember moustaches in attendance, as modelled by ubiquitous coffee blogger/Instagrammer Phil Wain.
After a brief explanation of the rules by Kaffeine’s Peter Dore, the competition set off with a hiss of steam.
It was a swift competition this week ”perhaps everyone was eager to find out the final line-up for Tuesday. This time Alfie from Flat Cap, Paul from Alchemy, and Krystian from Dose Espresso triumphed with tulips, reigned with rosettas, and held their own with hearts.
The final is set to kick off this week at Square Mile’s roastery in East London. Tune in later to find out who rose to the top, like microfoam on delicately poured latte ¦
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kate 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