Last night was a high pressure, high stakes clash pitting barista against barista, curled mustache against curled mustache, in a competitive latte art showdown—non-homogenized milk wasn’t the only thing steaming…
OK, so it wasn’t that serious, but the first monthly New Gotham Throw-down, held at Wormhole Coffee in Wicker Park, was still pretty exciting, whether you’re a veteran espressionado or not.
Bringing in baristas from all over the coffee community, about 100 or so participants and observers networked over craft beers at this friendly behind-the-counter competition under the New Gotham Coffee Community moniker. Future events will be held at various coffeeshops throughout Chicago.
Hailing from cafes and roasters like Intelligentsia, Ipsento Coffee, Handsome Coffee, Counter Culture, among others, and introducing Bow Truss, New Gotham aims to provide a social gathering for coffee pros and home enthusiasts to talk shop—from brewing methods to pouring styles.
The night’s winner was Chris “Nicely Abel” of Handsome Coffee Roasters, who’s won multiple World Latte Art Championships, and who Instagrams his frothy flourishes and rosettes quite frequently (see below). He walked home with all the prize money and a brand spanking new Maestro Plus conical coffee grinder from Baratza. Second and third place winners received Wicker Park area gift cards and certificates to brewing class, provided by the folks at Counter Culture Coffee.
Check out some of the shots we got from last night from Wormhole Coffee, where they moved its famous ’80s-era DeLorean out of the way to make room for the crowd. We were proud to have sponsored the logo and help set up with free samples of Bow Truss.