Saturday, March 12, 2011

Thursday Night Throwdown

This past Thursday I competed at Octane Coffee's monthly Thursday Night Throwdown, a free-pour latte art competition in Atlanta.  Now I've done this maybe 7 or 8 times over the last three years, and I've never won.  One time I got 4th place out of 40-something competitors, and another time I went head-to-head in the final pour-off and lost. 

This week I totally bombed it.  I can blame it on the different machine (one of the 2009 SERBC Aurelias), or different cups than I'm used to or whatever, but the bottom line is I choked.

This was my first pour.  Mine is the one of the left: 

(sorry about the cell phone picture quality! it was really dark...)

Right when I poured into the cup I had a bit of a white-out blob, so I spent too much time trying to bury it and left too little time to draw a pretty mediocre tulip.

My second pour felt much much better, but I was a little too shaky for a controlled pour.  I ended up with a pretty well-defined tulip, but I should have thrown in another layer to it before finishing it off.  This one actually earned me a split-decision vote, but it wasn't enough to advance out of my bracket:

On a good note, one of the Empire State South baristas I work with, Brandon Malcom, advanced to the finals and clinched the win.  He walked away with the $70 pot and a Hario Skerton hand grinder.  He actually faced off in the finals with Joseph Yancey, a Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee barista who helped me film a few of the videos I've posted here on Double Rosetta.

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