latte art

After a yearlong hiatus, the Latte Art competition is back to being part of the US Coffee Championships, though in a slightly different capacity. Instead of taking place under the sobering bright lights of the competition stage, the new look Latte Art Throwdown is back in its natural habitat – at night, off-site, and with lots of alcohol. And the first of two preliminary events is going down on Saturday at K Brew in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The Latte Art Throwdown preliminary round follows the traditional throwdown format. It’s a single elimination bracket where baristas will go head-to-head pouring tulips, hearts, or rosettas as the round dictates. A panel of judges select the winner of each pour-off based on symmetry, contrast, and how the design fills the cup (and often, overall impression). The winner will earn free entry into the US Coffee Championships Latte Art Throwdown taking place during the Opening Party at the SCA(A) Expo taking place in Seattle in April.

But unlike traditional throwdowns, there are no entry fees. Sign up is based on a first come first served basis starting at 7:00pm. The number of entrants will be capped at 32, and the throwdown will get started once all spots have been filled or 8:00pm, whichever comes first. My money is on the 32 slots filling up long before 8:00pm, so get there early if you are looking to compete.

For those too tardy to compete or looking to only partake of the more libertine aspects of a throwdown (as I am wont to do), K Brew has brought together a host of good time accessories to help lube the ole social muscles. They’ve enlisted the help of a pair of local food trucks as well as local brewery Crafty Bastard, whose Dry Hopped Brett Gose and Tessellation IPA sound pretty, pretty, pretty good.

The whole shebang gets going at 7:00pm this Saturday, January 21st at K Brew’s north Knoxville location at 1138 N. Broadway. After 10+ hours of live tweeting the barista competition, you better believe we’ll be there to partake in more than a few imbibements.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network.

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