On Nov. 7, for the second year in a row, we hosted the KY/TN Latte Art Throwdown & Caffeination Celebration — a chance for baristas from Louisville, Nashville and everywhere in between to talk (and taste) coffee, and a chance for the public to see the levels of coffee nerdery possible in our little industry. Hugs were exchanged, coffee stouts were drunk and many lattes were poured, with all proceeds going to the Center for Courageous Kids, an awesome organization in Scottsville that runs a year-round camp for kids with physical and developmental disabilities. Over the course of the evening, we raised over $500 for CCK — and we had a ton of fun doing it.
The highlight of the evening was the second-annual KY/TN Latte Art Throwdown, a chance for baristas to compete in a bracket-style format to see who could pour the prettiest drink. Last year, John Newman of Crema Coffee in Nashville took home the gold (and some sweet prizes), but Louisville vowed revenge. Kenny Smith, equipment specialist of Sunergos Coffee (and education & equipment consultant for us), won this year, taking home a brand-new Encore grinder courtesy of Baratza, along with some extra goodies from Visions Espresso, Mistobox and Barista Magazine. Meanwhile, his longtime friend and former colleague Darren Jennings (blogger at The Coffee Compass) placed second, taking home a Kalita Wave dripper and Pelican Pot kettle, among other things; Miller Houston of Quills Coffee in Louisville placed third, grabbing a Prima Tamp from Prima Coffee.
The place was packed, and barista and bystander alike had a blast. Thanks to Baratza Grinders, Kalita USA, Prima Coffee, Visions Espresso, Mistobox, Barista Magazine and Sunergos Coffee — and thanks to all who dared enter the throwdown, and all of you who were able to make it! We’ll see you here again next year.