Monday, March 29, 2010

EXtreme Coffee Pouring


As I was perusing the internet on my lunch break with my afternoon cup of coffee, I came across this story about a cup of coffee from the Washington Post that struck me as wild.

The story is framed around an owl-tattooed, former Army nurse turned owl-tattooed, coffee barista who sometimes competes, sometimes judges a "latte art throwdown" at the Baked & Wired in Georgetown. The competitions for cash-and-beer prizes are described as "guerrilla-style... go head-to-head at the espresso machine" to make beautiful and delight flowery and leaf milk patterns on top of a cup of coffee.

And this isn't a D.C. thing. Apparently there are "Latte Throwdowns" from coast-to-coast.

Who knew there was a "coffee scene" outside of the enormous lines of dozing strangers at Starbucks. People standing on the side lines cheering on two contenders at dueling espresso machines, like watching an egg-on-the-spoon race or a game of flip cup.

This cracked me up (from the article)... "It really gives coffee professionals that 'nerd time,' for lack of a better term," said one coffee shop patron. "Yet it can be a totally non-elitist thing."

Non-elitist? Ha! Not so unlike the wine snobs, liquor snobs, food snobs and snobs of other luxury goods, certainly the coffee snobs have a secret nose-in-the-air society and a distinct French roast air about them. Good to know they're a welcoming bunch.

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