September 29, 2013 in Region

Baristas hold artistic latte ‘throwdown’ in Centralia

Kyle Spurr (Centralia, Wash) Chronicle
FILE photo

Barista Marcus Davis designs a flower shape on a mocha for a customer at Black Tie Coffee Co. in Post Falls in 2008.
(Full-size photo)

Seattle competition

The Coffee Fest Seattle 2013 Latte Art World Championship Open will be next Friday through Sunday at the Washington State Convention Center. Baristas’ work will be judged on aesthetic, definition, color, degree of difficulty and creativity, and speed. The overall winner in a field of 64 competitors will receive $2,000.

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.

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