NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — East Nashville coffee cafe Hearts will host a latte design competition Friday night for baristas. It is open to the public.
The competition, dubbed the Latte Art Throwdown, goes from 5 to 8 p.m. and is $10 to enter. The winner takes all and sign-ups for the bracketed competition begin at 5 p.m.
“Latte art is the practice of creating a design out of steamed milk into a shot of espresso. Typically the result is floral—Like that of a tulip or Rosetta. And this competition, our judges will be judging the designs based on symmetry in the cup, contrast between the milk and the espresso, and overall aesthetic of the actual design,” explained Rachel Bush, Good Citizen Coffee sales supervisor and account manager.
The competition was Bush’s idea in an effort to connect the Nashville coffee community.
“I was brainstorming how do we do this? How do we get reconnected? How do we just get everyone together and it dawned on me that we could host a Latte Art Throwdown. Since we don’t have our own cafe, we’re just a roastery, I knew that it had to come down to working with one of our partners to pull this off,” Bush said. “And we love working with Hearts so much so, it flowed very naturally.”
Bush called Hearts’ Owner Kate Ross to see if her cafe could host the event.
“There’s going to be, you know, 30 competitors, which is going to be fun,” said Ross. “And it’s going to be great. You know, I mean we meet people every day here but, people coming together all in one spot like getting to know fellow baristas and fellow cafe owners, the sponsors that are involved. It’s going to be just a good time.”
The Latte Art Throwdown will judge baristas’ designs based on symmetry in the cup, contrast between the milk and the espresso and overall aesthetic of the design.
“It’s part of what they do. There are so many different elements to making a cup of coffee, which people forget because, you know, it’s something that you order, you drink every day. And I don’t think it’s really thought about like what actually goes into it,” explained Ross. “It’s like making a great meal, you know? So it’s the espresso, it’s getting the right pour. It’s steaming the milk properly. And they go above and beyond by making it look beautiful for you as well. Because presentation is really important in coffee as in everything else. And it is a skill people really put a lot into it.”
Hearts’ Coffee Manager Adam Stutsman who plans to participate in the competition said there are many designs to choose from.
“The simplest one is just a plain heart, which is just you just make a little blob that poster and it turns into a nice heart. But one that I do is a tulip which is just stacks and stacks and stacks and then it kind of curls in itself,” explained Stutsman. “Then you can do a rosetta; a swan which I would love to learn! Which is just make a wing and then make the neck and it looks like a swan.”
“Anyone can come to this event. It’s going to be even if you if you’ve never stepped foot in a coffee shop before knowing anything about making a latte, what a difference between a latte or a cappuccino is. It doesn’t matter. Just come have fun and hang out. See some cool, cool designs,” said Stutsman.
The Latte Art Throwdown is said to be a family-friendly indoor-outdoor event complete with food and cocktails.
Hearts is located at 914 Gallatin Ave.