Friday, 28 November 2014

Week beginning November 24th - London Latte Art Smackdown Finals and Wrap Up

Even I was slightly nervous as I dropped off the children in Walthamstow to my wife and caught the train back in into town (East London) to get to Square Mile coffee roasters.

Not sure why. I wasn't competing as one of the top 12 latte art baristas in London for a share of £480 cash money, amazing prizes from Coffee Hit, Square Mile and Minor Figures in front of over 100 industry people fired up on free Kernel Brewery beer, tunes by Oli Bradshaw, with MC Ross 'Brockley' Brown and a giant video screen showing every move (or non move).

It is slightly possible with all this going on and at stake that one or perhaps all of the twelve competing were slightly nervous, but hey, we're not going to give that away.

The Square Mile team did an amazing job of setting up for the evening with a ping pong table and video games in the back room, Kernel bar in the side room and the main room with hanging old school microphone in the middle of the room, a 2 group Synesso set and ready with a GoPro camera set above the pouring table ready to project onto the big wall. We set off proceedings with a re-run of the rules and an explanation of the new 'pour your left over milk into a glass' rule (which was one of the best ideas ever).

There were too many amazing pours, slight dribbles, shaking hands, GoPro camera issues and wind-ups from the MC to go over in this tiny blog, but if you want to see visuals, check the links out to the photo albums below.

So the 1st Round looked like this
Ross - Browns vs Sam - Artisan
Tim - Curators vs Karolina - Nude
David - Artisan vs James - Iris and June
Adrian - LMNH vs Shaun - Noble
Gabriel - Noble vs Krystian - Dose
Paul - Alchemy vs Alfie - Flat Cap

Round two saw
Ross vs Tim
David vs Shaun
Krystian vs Paul

The final round started with an announcement - we had run out of beer - again, but in a first ever for the Latte Art, we had a three way final with
Tim vs
David vs

Judges decided at the last minute to do a one jug, one cup, one pour rule and the £480 cash was put on the table. The three competitors all put down their one cup pours and the judges deliberated for what seemed like ages. We counted down from five to decide the third place and it was Tim from Curators and then we counted down from ten for the winner between Paul and David.

Boom! David is the winner!!! As he had won throughout the heats he had celebrated like he had won the final already and to say he was excited and slightly emotional when he actually cracked the winner is an understatement. But it was a truly beautiful moment, as his girlfriend celebrated with him with kisses, hugs and very large smiles. A truly deserved and welcome winner, well done.

The fantastic Kate Beard was on hand again to take photos and to write all about the event for Barista Magazine, her blogs are available here (though at time of writing the blog for the final was not quite up yet).

Lead judge and all round superstar Glenn Watson was of course taking amazing photos while judging and mediating decisions between all the other judges and whether a two jug steam and pour was or was not allowed. Check out his photos here....

Unbeknownst to me, there was another photographer in the crowd who has taken some of the best shots I have ever seen including the final 'winner' photo. Check these out by @kota_hata

There was controversy, there was fun, there was spilt milk but there was no tears at least that I know of and finally it is all over. Feedback from this year is very welcome if you have any, either positive or areas to improve, but we already have people asking about next year. We may hold it in late Summer instead and we will definitely get more beer in.

Please may I say a huge thank you to all Kaffeine staff, all Square Mile Roastery and staff, Coffee Hit, Minor Figures, Kernel Brewery and to all the legend judges who contributed their time and effort to the competition, brilliant. We hope to be able to have it all again next year.

In the meantime, please enjoy this weeks menu, as we will enjoy bringing it to you.

Traditional bircher muesli with rhubarb and raspberry compote 4.00 (V)
Granola muesli with pomegranate molasses and rhubarb and raspberry compote 4.00 (V)
Fruit salad (pineapple, mango, strawberries, grapes, passion fruit) 3.90 (GF, V)
Ciabatta roll with omelette, pancetta, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Ciabatta roll with courgette omelette, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Croissant with Italian roast ham, talleggio cheese, spinach & plum tomatoes 4.90
Cinnamon and Raisin Toast (V) 2.50
Banana bread 2.50
Porridge (V) 3.00
served with condiments muscovado sugar, dried fruit, chopped nuts, golden syrup or honey

Pastries by Seven Seed bakery
French butter croissant 2.00
Pain au chocolat 2.50
Almond croissant 2.80

Baked Treats
Sweet muffin: Black rice pudding and raspberry (V) 2.40
Savoury Scone: Olive, rosemary and red Leicester cheese(V) 2.40
Friand: Orange and honey (V,GF) 2.40
Super moist chocolate brownies 2.50
White chocolate blondies 2.50
Portuguese tarts 2.00
ANZAC cookies 2.00
Almond and custard slice 2.50
Canele 2.40

Soup 4.50
Corn chowder with Kaffeine's own sour dough (V)

French retro baguettes 5.30
Parma ham, onion chutney, parmesan, basil and rocket.
Pickled carrot, feta, Dijon, red onion and spinach (V).

Foccacias 5.50
Salmon, aioli, dill, red onion, capers and rocket.
Saute mushroom, welsh rarebit, tarragon and spinach (V).

Salads: 5.50/7.00
Honey baked ham, roasted chestnuts, carrots, parsnips, red onions and cranberry and prune dressing (DF,GF).
Poached red wine pears, walnuts, Bath blue cheese, watercress and golden saxifrage (V,GF).
Roasted swede with satay dressing (VE,GF).

Tart: 4.40 or 8.00 with salad
Slow cooked sherry beef with hen of the woods and seabeet.  

Weekend Salads
Each weekend we offer different salads to the weekdays and we run them for a three week period, allowing our second Chef Khan to showcase her own creativity.

Salads: 5.50/7.00
Grilled beef with roasted red peppers, roasted cashews, green beans, mushrooms and oyster dressing
Roasted pumpkin with cherry tomatoes, couscous,. feta, mint, basil and yoghurt dressing
Roasted vegetable salad with a reduced sticky balsamic vinegar, thyme and date dressing

Tart: 4.40 or 8.00 with salad
Pancetta and leek quiche

No comments:

Post a Comment