For the last 2 years Butterworth & Son have held a Bury St Edmunds Latte Art Throwdown at Wright’s Cafe.
Latte Art is the name given to the practice of producing intricate patterns or designs in milky coffees, such as Cappuccinos, Lattes and Flat Whites.
The event invites local baristas, of any skill set, to come forward and showcase their skills in a friendly competition event.
Every entrant receives a ‘goodie bag’. Goodie bags usually contain merchandise from Wright’s, Butterworth’s and leading coffee industry businesses who have kindly donated to the event.
There are big prizes for 1st & 2nd place, in previous years, we have awarded an electric coffee grinder and top-of-range hand grinder, both with retail values of over £200.
Previous winners have been Arthur Leaf of Folk Cafe (2021) and Will Greavner (2022) formerly of Thetford Garden Centre (now Butterworths).
The competition itself is a knock-out type, where the baristas are pitted directly against each other in pairs over 4 different rounds, which become progressively harder.
There are 3 judges and the judging criteria is based upon overall neatness, no spillages but cup should be full, the pattern of design should be central with the cup handle positioned on the right, for the consumer.
Coffee parts of the design should be brown and milk parts white, with minimal blending between the 2 components. The pattern should match the Latte Art dice in rounds where this is used.
Once presented with the drinks, the judges, upon the count of 3, point to their preferred winner, the majority wins. The judges can not see which competitor is making the drinks.
- Round 1 is a freestyle round. Each barista has the opportunity to pour their favourite design in an 8oz medium-sized bowl shaped cup (the rounder shaped cups are easier to form patterns in as the milk flows to the surface easier).
- Regardless of skill set, home barista or seasoned competitor to have-a-go at their best pour are able to show-off their favourite pours.
- Round 2 introduces the addition of beginner Latte Art dice. This die has what are considered basic patterns on it’s 6 sides and the die is rolled at the start of each set.
- This round is in 8oz cups again.
- Round 3 becomes a little trickier. The beginner Latte Art dice is once again used to select a pattern for competitors but the Baristas must now pour designs into an 8oz takeaway cup.
- The taller, straight-sided cups are more challenging for a barista to form patterns.
- Round 4, the final round, takes a marked leap in difficulty. The final few competitors are provided with patterns selected by the throw of latte art dice from the intermediate set, where the patterns are more intricate.
- Competitors are also required to now pour into a 6oz Tulip-shaped cup. The base of the cup is significantly narrower than the top and the graduation to the wider part is small which makes the process of the milk forming on top of the coffee more challenging.
The winner of the previous year is asked to sit on the judging panel in the following year.
All proceeds from the ticket sales and event charity raffle go to our selected charity Emmaus Suffolk, a charity which works with vulnerable, socially isolated people and those at risk of homelessness across the county.
The event has previously been held the first Thursday evening of December but will now be hosted in the Spring.