I ended my last post by commenting on the fact that Hoffmann is being naturally emmulated in competitions now. His reach is much farther I’m afraid. Now, Latte Art Throwdowns are essentially Latte Art Absurd Throwdowns. People are pouring latte art in everything. Shoes, bags, Clover machines (it was broken to begin with). Absolutely absurd, absolutely nuts. Look what you’ve started Mr. James Hoffmann.
Anyway, the competition, day 2. There are seven remaning first-round competitors. Of which, I should choose three to advance to the finals since there will be 6 finalists and I chose three yesterday. (well, of course, I’m writing this after the Finals have already occurred and know that my choices from day 2 are/were completely wrong). I expected Brigida Jones of Lava Java, Brett Walker of Zoka, and Rob Ward to advance. None did. Their performances looked good and no shots were out of line. Apparently there was something in the sensory evaluations that trumped that though.
My pick, Brigida Jones of Lava Java, to make it to the finals. I was wrong.
Interesting designed cups.
Jordan Barber of the Wandering Goat, Kevin Fuller of The Albina Press, and Phillip Search from 49th Parallel made it on to the next round.
Dismas Smith, the 2002 US barista champion, competed and was forced to compete with a runny nose, which he blew into one of his towels during his performance time. Strange, but necessary, as he said it was either that or let it run. A little further into his routine, I think he dropped his tamper. I was watching something else at that moment and when I turned back, he was wiping it off and commenting about how he hadn’t thought to bring another tamper. So with the idea that the tamper had fallen onto the floor in my mind, I couldn’t help but laugh when I thought Dismas described his espresso as having “carrot dirt” in it. I had a stupid grin on my face until I realized he had said character. An enjoyable competitor to watch.
Dismas hesitates to push the start button.
Dismas’ signature drink.
After watching two days worth of competitors, I’ve seen the air conditioning problem many are talking about. There’s a strong current running through the area, and it’s actually blowing the streams of espresso to the side causing it to fall onto the edges of cups and create and overall difficult situation.
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