It's hard to argue that Australia has excellent coffee game, a trait which has just been recognised on an international scale. Well, not so much the brewing part, but the artistic -- Melbourne barista Caleb Cha has just taken first place at the World Latte Art Championship in Sweden.
Cha, who hails from Cafenatics in the Melbourne CBD, beat out numerous competitors before advancing to the final round, where he outdid five would-be latte-making perfectionists from Japan, China, South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan.
What exactly does a latte championship entail? I'll let the website explain:
For the preliminary round of the championship, baristas produce a single creative latte pattern at the Art Bar, then move to the WLAC stage to create two identical free-pour lattes and two identical designer lattes. Scores from the Art Bar and Stage are combined, and the top 6 competitors qualify for the final round, where they are asked to create two identical free-pour macchiato, two identical free-pour lattes, and two identical designer patterned lattes. The top-scoring competitor in the final round is declared the World Latte Art Champion.
WLAC finalists, with Cha on the far right.
A press release marking the occasion has comments from Cha regarding his win:
Caleb always puts it down simply to practice. "The more you practice and repeat, the better and sharper your patterns become. And, the more confident you become, pouring becomes second nature and you develop steady hands. This lets you work faster with less errors", he says.
Yeah, I had no idea how serious the latte business was either.