The five-week-long event in Portugal will combine a local Cup Tasters element to round out the playing field.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
As it gets closer to the holiday season, it makes sense to gather “coffee families“ near and far for some much needed cheer before the grind. For Porto in particular, it’s an opportunity to reconnect the small but mighty coffee community in Portugal, whose specialty-coffee shops uphold the mission of bringing the “third wave“ to their greater area.
Five of these cafés have agreed to host a five-week-long extravaganza of latte art throwdowns and triangulations to bring the Porto coffee community back together. The Latte Art Grand Prix kicks off this Thursday November 18 at 7g Roaster, in which competitors will be pitted against one another to not only pour flawless latte art, but to also taste and compare coffees. A mini Cup Tasters competition will give people a chance to compete who don’t necessarily excel at latte art, but still want a chance to participate.
The idea of combining latte art and triangulation comes from co-organizer Brian Blaker’s own barista experiences in the Philadelphia area of the United States. It will take place at three out of the five weeks of the Latte Art Grand Prix, and serve as “bonus points“ to the competitors. Other cafés that are participating include:
- Porta do Café – November 25
- SO Coffee Roasters – December 2
- Nørdico – December 9
- C’alma Specialty Coffee Room – December 16
After a long time spent fighting to keep businesses alive, Brian, who also works at C’alma, says it has been a lot of work post-quarantine to keep businesses afloat, so this is a well-deserved opportunity for folks to relax, compete, and catch up after a rough time. “Basically we’re just stoked to get together and have a good time after a tough year and feel this is a great way to get back into the swing of things,“ he says.
The main reason that Brian and others at C’alma are hosting this event is for the community. As a city newer to specialty coffee, Porto’s cafés have extra work on their hands to introduce locals to newer styles of drinking coffee. After a successful event called Battle of the Ateneu in 2018, C’alma wanted a way to extend this event to something similar years later. “We figured it would be a good opportunity to return to events with a bang and really put something nice together after a year of struggle,“ Brian says.
If you live in the Porto area, you have five opportunities to connect with the coffee community over the next month! Whether or not you plan on competing, it’s a chance to meet other baristas and have fun before the holiday season commences.