Our Baristas Represent at Minneapolis Coffee Fest

Three of Metropolis Cafe’s most beloved baristas will carry the Chicago coffee community banner with them in the Latte Art Competition at Minneapolis Coffee Fest (held this weekend, June 4-6).

David Retzer, Andrea Deibler and Nathan Kosky will be among over 30 professional baristas looking to walk away with the $2,500 grand prize. It’s a single-elimination tournament with baristas matching up mano a mano, foam to foam, until only two remain–and then, one. The competition will stretch over all three days of Minneapolis Coffee Fest.

Metropolis Cafe general manager, Seth Alexander, says he expects good things: “They are all really solid baristas with good latte art skills, so I think we’ll do well,” he says. “I think Andrea is probably strongest at her rosettes and traditional palm leafs; I think Nathan is probably going to attempt to do the innovative latte art, so not necessarily symmetrical; and then David is really working on his tulip art, kind of a half-rosette and half-heart, and he’s doing really well with those. I’ve seen a couple really good ones come off the bar with him. They all have a good shot, all really solid, and all really different.”

What is Latte Art? How’s it Judged?

In short, latte art is the creation of unique, aesthetic designs made by combining espresso and steamed milk. It’s not easy, as both the espresso and milk must be near-perfectly prepared to even make the latte art-making process possible. The resulting design is judged on five factors: aesthetic beauty, definition, color infusion, degree of difficulty & creativity, and speed.

If classic in style, the resulting piece of foamy coffee art often bears the stamp of a rosette or a palm (shown, left); more modern-leaning baristas are pushing the limits with more innovative, non-symmetrical options.

What is Coffee Fest?

What’s Coffee Fest all about? In short, the coffee industry talks beans at Coffee Fest three times per year (next shows: Seattle, Oct. 29-31; Chicago, Feb. 18-20, 2011), working with attendees to fine tune and further their business and their roles within the industry. Coupled with this focus on the details of specialty coffee, gourmet tea and alternative beverages is an educational component to the event. The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) will be on-hand certifying baristas, meaning Coffee Fest is for all types: jaded pros, aspiring amateurs and all-out coffee geeks, in general.

— Latte Art Throwdown at Brothers K
— Rate My Rosetta
— 50 Beautifully Delicious Coffee Designs
— Millrock Coffee Fest Las Vegas 2009
— Flickr Set of Latte Art
— Metropolis Cafe’s Tinu pours a perfect tulip (right).

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