Santa Lucia Coffee owner Justin Page and certified barista Dylan Evans took turns behind the espresso machine pouring tulip and rosette leaf designs onto lattes during the first “barista throwdown” competition held at the downtown Centralia, Wash., coffee shop.
Page said the “barista throwdown” was good practice for Evans, who works for Espresso Rescue in Lacey, to prepare for a competition with the Northwest Latte Art League next weekend at Cafe Fonte in Seattle.
“It’s a great way to interact with other baristas in the community,” Page added.
Evans – a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association of America and the Barista Guild of America – finished in the top 16 out of 64 baristas in a Coffee Fest competition in Seattle last year.
The throwdown at Santa Lucia Coffee was not judged professionally, but Evans said at other competitions judges look for who presented the latte first, the symmetry, contrast and quality.
The light-hearted competition on Thursday helped Evans get ready for next weekend.
The Northwest Latte Art League competition will be held the same weekend as Coffee Fest, a trade show.
“All the people in town for Coffee Fest will be there,” Evans said. “It’s a good way to meet people.”
Page and Evans went back and forth pouring lattes with creative designs. Finished lattes were then handed out for free to those in attendance.
“We were joking we had some different pours up our sleeves,” Evans said. “I wanted to try the scorpion (design).”
With a crowd gathered around him, Evans attempted the scorpion design on a latte. He poured the steamed milk just right to make the design.
Evans began teaching those in the coffee shop how to pour a latte.
“It’s always good to have your milk ready before you have your shots poured,” Evans instructed.