It’s not everyday that you turn your roastworks floor into a latte art competition stage for 36 baristas, a panel of judges and 300 spectators, with pigs on spits, kegs of beer, side challenges, prizes and what not.
But hey, try anything once, right?
And so it went that on Friday November 8th, we held the Throw At Single O – La Marzocco Barista Throwdown, which saw baristas from roasting houses and cafes across Sydney come together to battle it out on FB70s to win this baby…
…a GS/3 Paddle espresso machine generously donated by the night’s major partner, La Marzocco.
Mike Phillips of Handsome Coffee Roasters L.A. and WBC 2010 Barista Champion M.C.’ed as smooth as stretched milk.
Competitors’ latte art fate, be it a swan, heart, tulip, rosetta or multi-art, was determined by a spin of the ‘Wheel of Death’ (at the merciless hands of Sean, aka ‘Spin Reaper’).
Rounds were marked by the milk-maid and cow suited creators of The Juggler milk on tap system.
Side challenges featured pours from Tools of Latte Art Destruction including a growler, beer bottle and green bean tray.
Super-B competitors Dan Yee and Matt Perger got into a cock fight.
And let’s get around to the main comp and all the talent within it. The briefed and calibrated panels of judges were put through their paces with art from some of the best pourers across town. Round 1 saw 36 competitors cut down to 18 in a harsh head to head. Hearts broke, tulips wilted. Round 2 saw 18 competitors reduced to 6. Swans sank, multi art went down in a blaze of crema.
6 went to 3; Luke Barrett from Whitehorse, Matt Lakajeb from Coffee Brothers and Jibbi Rawirat T. from Pablo & Rusty’s boxed on.
Luke took 3rd place leaving Jibbi and Matt to battle it out with their double-headed swan and stepped tulip respectively. The crowd gathered in tight over the judging table, ooohed and ahhhed as the judges disappeared for what felt like bloody ages to make their final decision…
Jibbi! Crowned swan princess and winner of the Throw At Single O. Congrats Jibbi and to all baristas that competed.
Huge thanks to the sponsors and judges below, Mike Phillips, the entire Single O team and all the great Sydney coffee companies and cafes that got behind this event to celebrate Sydney’s amazing coffee community.
Try anything once? Yep. May even do it again.
Thanks To the Sponsors & Prize Givers
La Marzocco; Thanks for the incredible GS/3 machine prize, the 3 competition FB-70s, the judges gifts and the support from your awesome Sydney office. You guys have got it going on!
Biopak, Cafetto, H.A Bennetts & Origin Traders: Big thanks for helping to make it happen. Origin Traders for the competition coffee ‘Guatemala Café del Volcan’ and Kenya AA Machure Estate for guest giveaways. H.A. Bennetts for the ‘Colombia La Esperanza Yellow Bourbon’ competition coffee and guest giveaways. Biopak for all the cups and food trays. Thanks y’all!
Thanks also to Country Valley for the evening’s milk, Six Simple Machines for The Juggler, Sonoma for generous number of bread rolls, 4 Pines for the kegs and the emergency extra kegs, Three Blue Ducks for cooking some damn tasty dinner and Rising Sun for the wheel of death.
Thanks to Appliance Maintenance for the door prize donation of the Vario grinder, to Beanscene magazine for the three 12-month subscriptions, Barista Magazine for the 12 month subscription, Three Blue Ducks for the cook books, the Good Café Guide for the guide book prizes and Sprudge’s coverage and photos of the night.
Judges & MC Thanks
Thanks Michael Phillips for the epic MCing and thanks to the great panel of judges; Elisha Mauger, Tom Beaumont, Fay Kamanis, Andrew Tweddell, Michael Shafran, Elizabeth Meryment and Brent Williams.