Let’s face it. When it’s 8am on a Monday morning and you’re grabbing coffee at Starbucks, you’re not going to remember your barista’s face, let alone his or her name. You only have eyes for the caffeine in your cup. But at 2012 Art of Hawaiian Coffee, it’ll be the baristas’ moment to bask in the limelight. And you’ll be surprised how hard they’re going to be fighting to shine, because a latte art contest is no joke. (Aside from the contest, there will be exhibitions, keiki activities and coffee samplings.)
It’s all about the visuals, creativity and speed. Two baristas will make latte art simultaneously, and according to judge Pete Licata, national latte art champion and world runner-up, they need to create a consistent, beautiful picture. “We’ll judge based on its positioning in the cup, whether the pattern is off to the side or directly in the center,” he says. He’ll also judge on the contrast between the dark brown coffee and white foam. Winner gets a $1,000 gift certificate to DFS and immense bragging rights. Baristas, may the odds be ever in your favor.