When I got invited to a “dick latte art” contest, I almost spit out my morning French press. A what?
Let’s get one thing straight: I like dirty jokes as much as the next person—That’s What She Said being a personal favorite—but I just wasn’t sure how a dick latte art contest was going to go down. Or up, as the case may be.
Hosted at Café Chilango, who is known for their pour-over coffee, tacos, mezcal margaritas, and quite obviously, their sense of humor, Dick Latte Art night was the genius of Parisites, an event planning and consulting collective. That’s short for: people who plan ridiculous and badass events that you always want to go to.
“For us, our events are rooted in our community,” Parisites co-founder Mardi Hartzog tells me. “Paris can often feel exclusive, uninviting, and lonely. It’s hard to find that feeling of comfort that is often your favorite bar, or friend’s house where everyone can just show up and be themselves. In our events, we try and create that environment.”
Which of course brings us to dick art, because what brings a community together better than blue humor?
Don’t think that this wasn’t a serious thing; contestants were judged on a few criteria, including creativity and anatomical resemblance.
Julien Alda, who works at Loustic and was one of the judges, has a special appreciation for dick latte art, saying that he practices the dark art in his free time. “It's much more difficult than you think, and it takes a lot of practice,” he assures me. But, of course, dick latte art isn’t for everyone, and it takes a certain discerning customer. “Unfortunately, this art is despised,” Alda tells me in all sincerity, “and highly unwelcome in specialty coffee shops. Even in 2015, making the male genital with milk and foam is still shocking for some clients.”
He went on to add, “I’d be happy to pay 4,50€ for my cappuccino with a penis on it.”
But how would the chic and classy Parisian coffee scene take to spending a night foaming dicks? Quite well, as a matter of fact. Cafe Chilango was loud, noisy, packed, and rambunctious…pretty much just like you would expect a night of dicks to be.
“I think the penis has the universal gift of giving pleasure and being fun. It can make you laugh about something. But it’s one of the pillars of our society,” says Alda. “What’s curious is that a lot of people in the coffee world are real dickheads, and they should, in fact, sometimes just appreciate coffee, latte art, art, and dick art with humor and humility.”
If anything, pushing that humor component is something that Hartzog thinks is important for the Paris coffee scene: “I think that as the coffee scene in Paris is so new, the people opening new cafes have really taken on the roles of being the pioneers of it. With that comes the responsibility of defining the quality of the scene, and educating the Parisian public on a new way to appreciate coffee. The coffee scene in Paris is booming right now, and I think the Parisian coffee-ites are ready to loosen up a bit and add a bit more humor, along with the quality, in the coffee scene.”
And loosen up they certainly did, with plenty of whooping and hollering and no shortage of lewd jokes along the way. At the end of the night, Alba Pagán (who happens to work at Café Chilango, but not as a barista; “Just the best penis expert,” said Hartzog) was declared the winner, snagging a hand embroidered “Cockaccino Champ 2015” apron as her prize. And, of course, the bragging rights that come with being crowned the foremost maker of foam dicks in Paris.
On that note, we’ll end with Hartzog’s favorite song from the penis playlist featured at the event, mostly because of this perfect verse: “I pray my dick get big as the Eiffel Tower / so I can fuck the world for 72 hours.” May this serve as inspiration for a dick latte art in a coffee city near you.