Pretty Coffee

Pretty Coffee

August 13, 2013  |  Events, Local Interest

I remember the first time I experienced latte art. I was visiting Grace in Chico, it must be six years ago now. We went to her favorite coffee place, The Naked Lounge, and my drink came in a big white bowl of a cup with a perfectly delicate fern frond drawn in the foam. I felt like I had been given a gift. I love coffee, but pretty coffee takes things to another level. It was a surprise the first time, but even now that I know it’s a thing, it still feels a little bit special every time.

So when I heard there was going to be a latte art competition at one of my favorite local coffee places, I was in. Local 123 in Berkeley is a lovely spot for coffee or wine, music and art, conversation or just quiet reading. Owner Frieda Hoffman is also the creative mind behind the airstream coffee trailer at Flowerland Nursery in Albany. I like the way she thinks.

The latte art competition is brought to us by the folks at the Bay Area Coffee Community, and it is now in Season Two. Last Thursday evening, forty baristas signed up to pour their hearts out. Two by two they created their liquid masterpieces, and one of them was selected to move on to the next round. It was sort of like March Madness for coffee, and all in one night. It started out like a party, with friends and colleagues cheering each other on. But as the final round approached, things got quieter. A hush fell over the room as the judges made their final deliberation. Then Selina Viguera was proclaimed the winner, and the crowd went wild.

What a fun night! Season Two of the Latte Art Competition continues on September 19th at Ritual Coffee Roasters in San Francisco. You should go.


1 Comment


  1. I love that your story on coffee art has very few pictures of the actual coffee art! Shot #19 where people are contemplating the art, and #9 where two women point to the same mug, and #16 with the selfie group shots are my favorites.

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