Reverie Coffee Roasters in Wichita hosted a latte art competition for area baristas last night, the fourth of its kind at Reverie.
I have never attended a latte art competition. Before last week, I didn’t even know about latte art competitions.
Owner Andrew Gough said, historically, there haven’t been many organized events for the coffee community in Wichita.
“So I think, first and foremost, it was really for the baristas to get together and spend a little time hanging out,” he said. “We want to raise the overall appreciation for the art and the craft that goes into making coffee.”
Gough said baristas and their supporters came from Garden City, Kansas City, Manhattan, McPherson, Hutchinson and Wichita to participate.
“We got people who drove three and half hours,” he said. “That’s pretty cool.”
The reason so many baristas from out of town come to Reverie for these competitions is because Reverie baristas travel out of town to compete, too.
“Some of our employees went a couple nights ago to Oklahoma City and just blew their minds that we went there,” he said.
Reverie baristas also go to Tulsa, Kansas City, Lawrence and Manhattan for throw downs like these. According to Gough, coffee shops and baristas support each other.
“And they hang out and have fun.”
With enough room for elbows, a crowded shop of friends, family and fans watched more than 30 competitors show off their skills at Reverie’s newly renovated bar.
In a picture, latte art is…
Baristas poured steamed milk into espresso (to make a latte) in such a way to make a design. The design had to be poured, not drawn, so competitors had one shot — ha! like espresso — to make it.
Judges determined which latte would move on to the next round in bracket-like style, and all the lattes were handed out to the crowd.
With standing room only and me not being taller than 75 percent of the room, I hopped on the bench with a friend to get a better view.
But I did have to get a few close-ups.
Reverie also had a live action camera hanging over the judging station so the entire shop could see the art before it was judged and consumed by the crowd.
I had two…
I also had this delicious little ice cream nugget by Little Lion Ice Cream. Two scoops of stout ice cream and a shot of espresso — called an affogato. Holy… so good.
So I was appropriately caffeinated with some of the most delicious, delightfully smooth espresso I’ve ever had.
I consume a ton of coffee daily, and, most of the time, I’m not too concerned with the taste — I happen to like the bitter bite and sludgy consistency of what I brew at home — but this espresso was unreal it was so good.
Take it from me, I get coffee wherever I go — Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, gas stations, the break room, etc. — and Reverie’s espresso tops the list in flavor and texture.
It was straight up velvet in a cup.
I got the final round on video! Tom and Ian went shot to shot.
And the winner is…
I’m happy I got to see this show of skill and learn a little more about the coffee community in Wichita. I will be partaking in a cup or two at Reverie in the future — you can count on it.