The Cleveland-based roastery will host a virtual latte art competition to celebrate Black History Month.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Poster courtesy of Phoenix Coffee Co
You’ve already been snapping pictures of your rosettas shaping into perfection for your Instagram—why not get an incredible prize out of it?
To celebrate Black History Month, Phoenix Coffee Company in Cleveland wants everyone to be a part of the festivities throughout February by checking out the Black Barista Virtual Throwdown. If you identify as a Black barista with an obsession over stunning latte art, then you’re invited to send in your best pours through showing off your latte art on Instagram.
Here’s how to get involved: Simply post a story to your account of your submission, tag @PhoenixCoffeeco, and add the hashtag #blackbaristathrowdown by the end of today, February 3. Once submissions have been finalized, Phoenix will re-gram them to their own account for the public to watch tomorrow, February 4. It’ll be up to you, the public, to vote for your favorite, and each week the contestants will be eliminated until there is a final winner!
A lot of exciting firsts are happening here. This is the first time that Phoenix will be hosting a virtual latte art throwdown, which will also kick off the start of several Black History Month events throughout February. “If we’ve learned anything from the events of 2020 it’s that the work of ‘Equality for All’ isn’t done—the coffee industry, too, has a long way to go,” says Christopher Feran, director of coffee at Phoenix.
For café manager Khristen Logan, who is also the mind behind these events, the motivation behind organizing them was the idea that Black baristas tend to be “filtered” out of the industry. Therefore, they are not a prominent face in the craft. “In all of our cafés we have a framed piece of art saying ‘We filter coffee, not people,’ and that’s something that Phoenix prides itself on,” Khristen explains. “So Black Barista Throwdown: ‘Unfiltered’ ties into the roots of the company and highlights the relevance of the event.”
More events coming up from Phoenix include four pop-ups featuring Black businesses throughout their cafés, social media highlights of Black-owned businesses, and a showcase of Black artists on the walls of their locations.
Barista Magazine, AeroPress, and Chemex are sponsoring prizes for the winners of this throwdown, with more to come throughout the month. Some prizes include a Chemex, an AeroPress, and merch from Barista Magazine, along with free magazine subscriptions to anyone who participates! It’s truly a win-win situation here, so there’s no reason not to be a part of the madness—no matter what level you’re at in your latte art skills. Help these folks get a ton of votes to work with, and watch the fun all month long on Instagram.