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Local coffee companies plan to host a latte art competition starting in March.

Latte art skills put to the test in friendly tourney

Published: Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 - 11:24 am

Latte art is one of those little finishing touches that tend to distinguish the top local coffee houses from the chains, where apparently making art with hot foamy milk is against corporate policy.

Many of us tend to marvel at the artistry. Some customers are curious enough that they even take classes (Temple Coffee has offered latte art tutorials). But mostly, we leave it to the experts, knowing that it takes a lot of practice to even get respectable.

Now comes a competition hosted by four of the most serious local coffee companies – Old Soul, Temple, Insight and Chocolate Fish – to see who is making the best latte art. There’s more to it than meets the eye – micro-foam, texture, wrist action, creativity – and there are plenty of talented and devoted baristas out there. The judging will be in four categories: contrast, texture and foam quality, symmetry of pattern, and achieved difficulty

The tournament will be monthly beginning in March and will be hosted at each coffee shop on the second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. The events are open to anyone with a modicum of experience, and the $5 entry fee goes toward the winner’s prize for that evening. Contestants will earn points each month and the cumulative total will lead to a grand prize.

The competition is open to the public and attendees can cheer on their favorite contestants and coffee houses. Expect a party atmosphere.

Here are the dates:

March 13: Chocolate Fish.

April 10: Insight.

May 8: Temple.

June 12 grand finale: Old Soul in the alley.

Call The Bee’s Blair Anthony Robertson, (916) 321-1099. Follow him on Twitter @Blarob.

Read more articles by Blair Anthony Robertson

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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