Tag Archives: latte_art

Yet Another CuppaChoice Latte Art Throwdown

CuppaChoice is organising another Latte Art Throwdown on Thursday, November 18 from 7:00pm to 9:30pm at their cafe. Entry fee for the competition will be $5 per person, with the final pot as the prize. Interested participants, please email Suhaimie. Knowing CuppaChoice, there’ll be some unorthodox weirdness thrown in for effect. From what I can remember, they’ve organized blindfolded latte art competitions, latte art in coffee (not espresso) from Nestle vending machines. Early birds will be treated to a cupping session.

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Tuesday Night Throwdown At Oriole

Come and pit your latte art skills amongst cheap booze and fellow coffee compadres once again at Oriole’s now infamous Tuesday NIght Throwdown. (or you could just come for the cheap booze!)

5 Buckaroos per person
winner takes all + ultimate bragging rights!
other attractive prizes (wine, dining vouchers, e.t.c.)

knockout format. don’t be shy. all can play!

Ask your friends along! Remember: more participants = BIGGER POT. Register through facebook or call to Oriole Cafe & Bar (6238 8348) – we need your RSVP! p.s. – no handicap for those drunk before the contest!   [excerpted from their facebook page.]

The REAL Latte Art Challenge

When I first heard that Nestlé is sponsoring the latte art competition, I was already wondering what magic new espresso machine they are going to pull out of their hat this time. Yes, Nestlé, as in Nespresso infamy. Someone actually leaked (untruthfully) that it was going to be a Nespresso machine that was going to do the espresso base for the cappuccinos. I smsed the rest of the CGSG group, only to have CGSG Founder Kai Seng reply with “They should up the ante and use Nestlé milk powder.”

Yesterday, as the Latte Art Comp preceded the main Barista Competition, it was finally revealed to us what the magic machine was. I regret I do not have any photos here. (I shall take some later today.) You know the kind of Milo/Teh Tarik/Black Coffee/Hot Chocolate dispensers they have littering just about any ubiquitous kopitiam/hospital/waiting area? Yes, that all-in-one dispenser was making the espresso, sorry, black coffee for the capp base. They had a briefing on the stage where the 2 dispensers were proudly displayed, its innards being revealed to all in amazement. The insides looked like the insides of your CMYK inkjet printer. They have neat cartridges for black coffee premix, milo premix, teh tarik premix, etc. I was thinking someone would just be out there to make a cost effective Continuous Ink Beverage Supply System for this dispenser. But, at the same time, Steve and I were thinking of the problems the competitors are going to face trying to make latte art with this coffee.

This dispenser comes without PID, without all the wonderful technology most people take for granted when working with a budget toy like a $50 Krups or Braun, without the consistency to put out even an un-espresso nespresso. This is the equivalence of a 2 in one coffee mix that comes 30 packs in a bag at your nearest supermarket. It makes sweet black coffee topped with big bubbly foam. Now, this is what I call a REAL LATTE ART CHALLENGE. Ever since their first Barista Challenge in 2009, CuppaChoice always had the creativity of doing something out of the norm with the rest of the crowd. Their 1st Barista Challenge had the blind latte art challenge where competitors had to pour latte art without looking at the cup. This, of course, produced hilarious results with half the competitors burning their hands with hot milk.

You just have to think out of the box for this one. A few competitors thought of stamping out the foam by knocking the cup against the tabletop, the same way you would when faced with bubbles in your micro-foamed milk. But, for some, the bubbly foam coffee was still inpenetrable by the micro-foamed milk. This is coupled with the fact that even if the milk found a way to penetrate the coffee foam, it still had the thick coffee foam to restrict the flow of milk on top to draw your latte art. To the untutored eye, it would seem these competitors just do not have the skill to put out nice latte art. However, much to the surprise of many, the few and the proud still found a way to make really nice 5 hearted tulips, rosettas, and the like. Of course, it didn’t help the matter much as the judges were 2 time Singapore National Barista Champion John Ryan Ting and SNBC 2010 #3 Suhaimie Sukiman, both of whom came in #2 and #3 in both this year’s SNBC and its companion Latte Art Competition. #1 was happily vacationing in some Indonesian island and wasn’t available to do the judging.

Here are the finalists:

  • Nizam (Jolly Frog)
  • Fadzli (Jones the Grocer)
  • Terrence (30 mls)
  • Sham (CuppaChoice)
  • Fadhly (CuppaChoice)

Here’s one blog post that came to my mind when I was watching the latte art challenge unfold. Since the coffee foam was hard to work with, it would be great if you could spoon off the coffee foam, leaving just the black coffee. Then you would, as illustrated in James Hoffman’s answer to the readers who mentioned that latte art would be difficult without crema, be able to easier draw your latte art in black coffee.

This is a screenshot from James’ site. Clicking on it wouldn’t produce the video. You have to go to the link above and view the entire video. :)

MITR PHOL Barista Challenge 2010

[This post has been updated with correct dates and times as of 3 June 2010]

CUPPACHOICE INTERNATIONAL PTE LTD has been given the honour and responsibility to organise and run a Barista Challenge on behalf of MITR PHOL THAILAND and MAXWILL (ASIA) PTE LTD, in conjunction with MITR PHOL SUGAR Trade Show 2010.

The Trade Show will be held from the 4th to 6th June and the Barista Challenge will be the main focus from the 5th and finals on the 6th of June on the 4th June from 11 am to 7 pm and on the 5th June from 11 am to 7 pm.

The main event is MITR PHOL BARISTA CHALLENGE and the side event, MITR PHOL LATTE ART THROWDOWN.

Come join us in this carnival, after all, it is also the GREAT SINGAPORE SALE and there is no better place to be than in Orchard Road.

MITR PHOL BARISTA CHALLENGE 2010 (in running order)

1. Jackie (Jolly Frog Bistro Bar)

2. Terence (Boomarang Express)

3. Noribsham (Cuppachoice Café & Academy)

4. Natasha (1 Caramel Café)

5. Mustaffa (1 Caramel Café)

6. Fadhly (Cuppachoice Café & Academy)

7. Jason (Starbucks Coffee)

8. Cessna (Café Cartel)

9. Arfian (30 Mls Coffee Bar)

10. Nizam (30 Mls Coffee Bar)

11. Andy (Starbucks Coffee)

12. Main Pavan (Jones The Grocer)

NESTLE LATTE ART CHALLENGE

1. Arfian (30 Mls Coffee Bar)

2. Alif (Jones The Grocer)

3. Fadzli (Jones The Grocer)

4. Noribsham (CuppaChoice Café & Academy)

5. Art (Jones The Grocer)

6. Terence (Boomarang Express)

7. Fadhly (Cuppachoice Café & Academy)

8. Jackie (Jolly Frog Bistro Bar)

9. Andy (Starbucks Coffee)

10. Nizam (30 Mls Coffee Bar)

11. Jason (Starbucks Coffee)

12. Cessna (Café Cartel)

13. Han Bing (Café Cartel)

[excerpted from Facebook]

—————————————————————————

PANEL OF JUDGES

The judges have been announced to be the following:

Alex Chong- Sensory Judge (Master Roaster & MD of CuppaChoice)

Colin Loh – Sensory Judge (CGSG Founding Member, espresso.colinloh.com)

Adrian Toh – Sensory Judge (Nestle Professional Representative)

Zaccheus Leck – Sensory Judge (Maxwill Representative Coffee Lover)

Steve Cairns – Technical Judge (CGSG Founding Member)

Cheryl Lee – Technical Judge (2 time Malaysia Barista Champion)

John Ting – Latte Art Judge (Singapore National Barista Champion 2008,2009, WBC 2009 Ranked #21, Barista@Oriole Cafe)

Competition Blend

The blend used for the competition is a 60% Kenya AA / 40% Ethiopia Sidamo roasted by CuppaChoice to Mid-Dark.

Personal Notes:

I went to scout the location today. While my previous post mentioned that the barista challenge was to be held at Takashimaya, it is in actual fact being held at the outdoors Civic Plaza. The area allocated for the MITR PHOL Barista Challenge is super-huge, as compared to the area we are so used to during the Singapore National Barista Championships. The SNBC 2010 area was about one-tenth the size of MITR PHOL BC. The stage area is just behind the fountain at Ngee Ann City. I hope to update this blog post with photos tomorrow.

3rd CuppaChoice Barista Challenge at Ngee Ann City

[Dates have been updated as of 3rd June 2010]

I was going to announce this event much earlier on, but I’m glad I was busy and couldn’t do so. After a few revisions from CuppaChoice, here’s their final draft. SNBC 2010 #3 Suhaimie, if there are any changes…. Please let me know.

CuppaChoice International is organising their #3 Barista Challenge @ Takashimaya Departmental Store THE CIVIC PLAZA, Ngee Ann City from the 4th to 6th 5th June 2010 in conjunction with Asia’s Number 1 sugar manufacturer, MITR PHOL (who is running a )TRADESHOW from 4th to 6th June. Competition will thus be named, MITR PHOL BARISTA CHALLENGE 2010. More than $2,000 worth of cash and prizes are to be won. Interested baristi, please email #3 at suhaimie@cuppachoice.com for details (and obviously some well-wishes if you want to get on #3’s good side and win at least a door prize) today.

There are 2 competitions being contested. The main one, MITR PHOL BARISTA CHALLENGE requires a participation fee of $30 per Barista and the side challenge, Nestle Latte Art Free Pour requires a fee of $10. CuppaChoice will be collecting the funds on behalf of MITR PHOL and these funds will be added to the prize money.

Please confirm the challenges in which you and/or your representative(s) will be participating in. Please write a cheque payable to CUPPACHOICE PTE LTD and mail it to

CUPPACHOICE ACADEMY
3 Temple Street
Singapore 058556

BY 22nd OF MAY 2010.

For more details & well wishes, please email #3 at suhaimie@cuppachoice.com.

This Barista Challenge has garnered a huge interest and CuppaChoice has increased the slots from 10 to 12 Baristi for the main challenge. Latte Art has no capped limit on participation.

Video – SNBC Day 2 – John Ting

Here’s a video of John’s performance at this year’s SNBC. Having participated in SNBC every year since 2007, John has been placed Runner Up in 2007, and Champion in 2008 and 2009. His latest WBC 2009 rank representing Singapore is #21.

[xr_video id=”5e4fecb120e545b4916d8b028a2b39e5″ size=”sm”]

Latte Art Showdown II at Oriole Cafe

oriole

Oriole Cafe will be organising a latte art competition on 2nd November 2009. For those who don’t check or have Facebook accounts, the details are below, as excerpted from their Facebook updates:

Get your milk jugs ready and steady your nerves,
Back after 8 months (sorry we’ve been busy…)!
New exciting and audience friendly knockout system
Many prizes galore (alcohol guaranteed)!
$5.50(nett!) beer all night long
cut price shooters
$5 entry, winner takes all
Plus…BRAGGING RIGHTS!
register early to secure your limited slots! Or just come and join in the mayhem!

This event is planned to start at 7:30 pm on Nov 2, 2009 at Oriole Cafe & Bar, #01-01 Pan Pacific Suites, 96 Somerset Rd.

Judging WBC Judges

During the break before the awards ceremony of SNBC 2009, there was a friendly competition between Eleen Cai (SNBC 2007 Champion) and John Ting (SNBC 2008 Champion). It was a competition to make as many cappas as you can in 10 minutes. The highlight of the event was uh, someone volunteered me to be the 8th guest judge. All guest judges were chosen from the audience. The WBC judges took turns mucking up Ting’s grind and dosing. It was quite understandable he fell 2 drinks short from Eleen. Eleen finished with 12 while John made 10 cappas. The MC asked for my opinion on Eleen’s to which I replied,  “What I’m looking for is the taste of the coffee cutting into the milk. Eleen’s cappa didn’t do that, because all you taste is milk.” When I tasted John’s, he was the clear winner.

Lo and Behold! Guess what cropped up next? It was a competition between Bosses and Students’ Cappa Contest. The Bosses were Justin Metcalf and Ross Bright. Both Bright and Metcalf ARE CERTIFIED WBC JUDGES. The students were Ting and Cai. I was called back to be the judge and I made sure I sat at the bosses’ table. Whoa! Getting served cappas by Bright AND Metcalf and then judging them will most likely be THE highlight in my career in coffee. I noted the lack of latte art in Metcalf’s drinks, to which he promptly replied that they were’nt being tested on the art. But he did make several triple rosettas later on. Here are some pictures that speak for themselves.

IMG_0590.jpg

Justin Metcalf pouring latte art while …

IMG_0575.jpg

Ross Bright foams the milk.

IMG_0596.jpg

The two WBC judges pour a few rosettas with love

After 10 minutes, both teams had made 30 cappas. The tiebreaker was latte art. And I was the latte art judge. (I am having so much fun!) I gave one point in difficulty for the Bosses and one point in artistry for the students. The Bosses won. We’ll give it to them this year.

I hope this sets the bar for future SNBC’s to come.

For more pictures on the event, go to my flickr account.