The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) announced on 23 October that it will hold its first official US Latte Art Championship at the SCAA Event in Seattle, Washington in 2014. After a successful latte art exhibition grassroots effort, supported by Dalla Corte U.S.A at the 2013 Event, the SCAA said that it has decided to include an official championship to its existing lineup of US Coffee Championships held annually at the SCAA exposition, The Event. Dalla Corte will continue its support of this event through its contribution as the Official Machine Sponsor. It will be joined by the Official Porcelain Sponsor, Espresso Parts, the SCAA said in a statement. “Based on participation rates in 2013, it became clear that the barista community was excited about the possibility of an officially sanctioned US Latte Art Championship being added to the SCAA lineup,” said SCAA Senior Events Manager Lara Gallagher, in a statement. “The US Coffee Championships are the premier national stage for excellence in coffee preparation and we’re thrilled to be able to offer yet another opportunity for coffee professionals to showcase their skill and craftsmanship.” The winner of the 2014 US Latte Art Championship will move on to compete at the World Latte Art Championship, taking place at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE2014) from 15 – 18 May 2014. For the competition, baristas must create quality lattes for two visual judges, one head judge, and one technical judge. In Round 1 competitors will make two free pour lattes and two designer lattes on stage for their judges in a 6-minute presentation, as well as creating a unique and artistic design off stage in the Art Bar portion of this round. Free pouring, etching, and use of dyes on the surface of the latte are allowed in the Art Bar, which allows for an opportunity for competitors to express their creativity through patterns.
The six top competitors from Round 1 will move on to finals where they will make two macchiatos, two free pour lattes, and two designer lattes for judges in an 8-minute performance. In both rounds, competitors are judged on their foam quality, difficulty of design, ability to reproduce their design, and creativity. US Latte Art registration will open in conjunction with registration for the 2014 SCAA Event on November 15, 2013 at www.scaaevent.org.