ashland.news
July 21, 2024

Latte Art Throwdown draws large crowd to Noble Coffee Roasting

Latte art is created by pouring steamed milk into a shot of espresso in a bowl. Hearts and tulips are common designs; experienced baristas can create more complex patterns. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini
December 2, 2023

Baristas break away from the same old grind to draw some fine lines — over favorite beverages

By Bob & Tracy Palermini for Ashland.news

A large crowd gathered Friday evening at Noble Coffee in Ashland to participate in the Latte Art Throwdown, hosted by Noble and La Marzocco, an Italian espresso machine manufacturer. Jared Rennie, Noble founder and CEO, created the event to celebrate the State of Jefferson coffee community and prove there are only friendly rivalries among baristas.

Noble is the first shop in the world to use the latest La Marzocco espresso machine which they helped test earlier this month.

Case Coffee Roasters manager Rachael Barnhart steams the milk for her first latte art of the evening. Barnhart came in fourth in the contest. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini

Twenty-eight baristas went head-to-head in groups of two in the competition to produce the best latte art. A group of three baristas representing area coffee shops judged the competition. The latte art was evaluated based on contrast, foam quality, symmetry, harmony and complexity.

Five rounds of competition produced many beautiful lattes which were shared with the supportive crowd of on-lookers. 

The final rounds were competitions between local coffee shop managers. Noble manager Robin Waisanen took first place honors with Noble manager Chloe Sanders in second place. Nate Aviles, also a Noble manager, placed third, prevailing over Case manager Rachel Barnhart with his swan art.

Bob Palermini is an Ashland.news board member and photographer. Email Ashland.news at news@ashland.news.

Noble Coffee Roasting Chief of Operations Nate Aviles brews the espresso for an early round of the Latte Art Throwdown. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini
One of the competitors pours steamed milk into a latte bowl to create her design. The perfect steamed milk has a creamy “wet-paint” like texture which baristas call microfoam. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini
The competition drew a large number of coffee lovers to watch and cheer on their favorite baristas. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini
Baristas hug as the winner is announced in the second round of competition. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini
A latte design gets its final touches. The judging criteria includes centering the design and perfectly filling the cup. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini
Robin Waisanen raises her hands in victory as she was declared the winner of the Latte Art Throwdown. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini
The championship round of the evening featured Noble managers Robin Waisanen (L) and Chloe Sanders (R). Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini
After deliberating, the judges used a 1, 2, 3, point method to cast their vote for the winning bowl. Judges were (L to R) Bre Mastropietro from Forage Coffee in Medford; Coi Reznor Holloway, a Case barista; and Joe Moore, Noble Coffee Roasting Manager. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini
Chloe Sanders finishes her second drink of the championship round, where the contestants had to make three drinks: cappuccino, gibraltar and macchiato. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini
Nobel Coffee Roasting founder and CEO Jared Rennie acknowledged the companies that provided the prizes, worth hundreds of dollars, for the event winners, and he thanked the crowd for supporting the event. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini
Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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