Last week, the 2014 World Latte Art Championship pit champion baristas from 32 nations against each other to see who could create the most beautiful, engaging latte art creations, using both free pour and etching techniques. From those 32 competitors, six finalists advanced to compete in the finals at the 2014 Melbourne International Coffee Expo. The final field had an impressive array of competitors from both established latte-art contender countries and surprising newcomers, all competing with an incredible level of talent on the world stage.
We at Sprudge had already gotten to know four of the six finalists while attending Dalla Corte's DC Campus event, which you can read about here. This year our friends and partners at Dalla Corte are having their DC Campus event in Sumatra, with a free ticket going to 2014 World Latte Art Champion Christian Ullrich of Germany. Ullrich also won a Mahlkönig Vario grinder and a trip to China courtesy of Jas Bleu Coffee Experts.
Each competitor was required to pour a free-pour (using the pitcher only) macchiato-sized drink, a standard sized free-pour drink, and a “designer” drink that could incorporate the use of etching tools and other ingredients. In their routine the competitors were asked to pour two sets of each drink, trying to exactly reproduce the reference designs that had been photographed during the somewhat more relaxed “Art Bar” pouring session that opened the weekend.
Read on for our recap of the World Latte Art Championships final pours. If you want even more latte-art in your life, you can see more of our 2014 WLAC coverage here on Facebook.
Sixth Place: Ryan Tan, Strangers' Reunion, Singapore
Ryan Tan was poised, delivering a well orchestrated performance that was the only routine to finish under the eight minute time limit. His macchiato (bottom) and free-pour latte (top) designs were tulip variations, with the latte named “Reflections of a Tulip”. His designer drink (middle) was named “Tulip O'Clock” and accented with cocoa powder. Mr Tan called time at 7:59.
Fifth Place: Seivijus Matiejunas, Bewleys Coffee & Tea, Ireland
Mr. Matiejunas poured an impressive “Bell Flower” (top) for his free-pour drink, a complex multi-angle tulip for his macchiato (middle), and for his designer drink, he pouered one of our favorite designs of the week: “The Pirate” (bottom). Mr. Matiejunas called time at 9:19, receiving a hefty -15 point penalty, and placed fifth overall.
Rie Moustakas, Gloria Jean's Coffee, Australia
The crowd was on fire for Australian champ Rie Moustakas, with a big cheering section represneting her employers at Gloria Jeans. Her designs were intricate and well reproduced, featuring “Cupid's Arrows” (top) for her free pour, the jaunty singing “Quetzal Bird” (middle) complete with musical notes for her designer drink, and a ring of hearts for her machiatto. Ms. Moustakas called time at 8:05 for a -2 point penalty.
Third Place: Edit Juhász, Independent, Hungary
Edit Juhász' performance was a joy to watch. Her pours were steady, and she was focused and confident. Her designs were quite intricate and flower-like, a theme that started with her multi-directional tulip macchiato (left), proceeded in her stacked tulips free-pour tulips (center) and ended in the explosion of flowers with leaves in her designer drink (right). Juhász called time at 8:04 (-1 point penalty).
Second Place: Chiara Bergonzi, Independent, Italy
Chiara Bergonzi has competed three times on the World Latte Art Championship stage, and this year marks her first finals round appearance. Her free-pour latte (top), named “Fancy” involved six exactingly positioned, high contrast rosettas. Bergonzi titled her curved rosetta macchiato “Vortex” (middle), and her designer latte, “Metamorphosis”, involved a scene of a caterpillar eating an apple and transforming into a butterfly. Bergonzi called time at 8:55 for an -11 point penalty.
First Place: Christian Ullrich, Independent, Germany
Mr. Ullrich took top prize at this year's World Latte Art Championships with these pours–all of which display an impressively high level of contrast and consistency. His macchiato (top) was a well proportioned multi-direction tulip pour, which was expanded on in his free pour drink (middle) with carefully placed ornaments on each side. His designer drink, “The Turtle” (bottom) was a complicated series of carefully executed pours with an adorable smiley-face etched in. Ullrich called time at 8:06 for a -2 point penalty.
Sprudge.com’s coverage of the World Latte Art Championship is made possible by direct support from our friends and partners at Dalla Corte, who provide the DC Pro espresso machines for the 2014 World Latte Art Championship and 2014 World Coffee In Good Spirits Championship. Our coverage is produced in partnership with World Coffee Events, the international organization that stages these competitions each year.
Check out this Facebook gallery for much more from the opening rounds at WLAC.