U.S. Latte Art Championship! Who Wants to Go to Melbourne?

It’s hard to believe, but the United States is one of the last of the leading coffee countries to throw its hat into the World Latte Art Championship ring. This year at the Specialty Coffee Association of America Conference in Seattle, the first U.S. Latte Art Championship will take place. 20 baristas will compete. And the winner will travel to Melbourne, Australia, in May to compete for the World Latte Art Championship title.

(Read between the lines here, folks: that’s a one in 20 chance at a trip to Melbourne.)

2013 World Latte Art Champion Hisako Yoshikawa of Japan.
2013 World Latte Art Champion Hisako Yoshikawa of Japan.

In 2013, the SCAA show hosted the U.S. Latte Art Exhibition, which was pretty much all the doing of Skip Finley and Sevan Istanboulian of Dalla Corte ”the super generous espresso machine sponsor of the WLAC ”Patrick Burns of Palace Coffee, Marty Roe of About the Coffee, and a handful of others. They made it happen. In fact, Dalla Corte got the ball rolling in the first place; without Dalla Corte’s initiative, this wouldn’t be happening.

Participants signed up and took part in the event, which they quickly realized was wildly different in terms of rules than the latte art throw downs United States baristas are used to. But they adapted, and in the end, Kenny Smith of Sunergos in Louisville, Ky., was the big winner. He won some hella cool prizes from Dalla Corte and Espresso Parts, which is another main sponsor of the event.

With the Exhibition successfully completed, organizers got the go-ahead to start planning the first ever U.S. Latte Art Championship, which will take place in the Activities Hall of the SCAA, the same place where the U.S. Barista Championship is, the same place where the BGA Cafe is. Basically, the Activities Hall is the epicenter of the SCAA show.

At this point, I won’t be offended if you want to CLICK HERE and go try to register for the U.S. Latte Art Championship. Like we said, there are only 20 spots, which means ”I’ll say it again ”a one in 20 chance to go to Melbourne.

But you did read that right when I said “try to register” ”that’s because according to the rules, BGA Level 1 & 2 Certified Baristas will be given priority. We don’t understand why, since no other competitors in any other U.S. competition have to be certified. But there it is.

Also, you have to pay $100 to compete.

The main point is, you have a one in 20 chance to a) win a free trip to Melbourne, Australia; and b) represent the United States for the first time in history at the World Latte Art Championship.

More useful links:

Go HERE for the Rules
Go HERE to see the sexy latte cups by Espresso Parts that competitors will be using
Go HERE for Espresso Parts and find out what the official machiatto cups are ”the link isn’t working on the US Coffee Championships site…

Oh, and did we mention that Barista Magazine is the official media sponsor of the World Latte Art Championship? We’re stoked ”we hope you are, too!


About Sarah 932 Articles
Sarah Allen (she/her) is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.