Know the only thing better than coffee?
Two Saturday’s ago, a whole lot more than latte was being celebrated at Threefold Café in the Gables – we celebrated community. In particular, Miami’s Specialty Coffee community.
We also had a little bit of friendly competition.
When we first planned the event, we had no idea who would attend. We knew the Specialty Coffee buzz (no pun intended) was growing in Miami, but we had little idea how much support the event would receive. Was Miami ready for a Latte Championship?
Almost immediately, the sponsorships started rolling in. Panther Coffee jumped on board as a major sponsor. So did the Insurance Office of America, Threefold and the accounting firm of Hancock, Askew & Co. Right away, Eternity Coffee Roasters, Relentless Roasters, Egghead Coffee (The Grind Project), Per’La Specialty Roasters and Café Curuba all joined up as Supporters. Many of them promised to attend and bring their baristas to compete. We even received non-coffee support from Caviar – the new Miami restaurant delivery service. (@trycaviar).
Saturday turned into an all-out latte party! All 16 baristas competed in head to head, single bracketed elimination rounds against another competitor. Eight survived the first round. Then four made it into the semifinals. Then it was time for the all-woman-barista Final: Rachel from Eternity Roasters vs. Kassandra from Panther Coffee!
The judges (Ryan Hall from Panther Coffee, Teresa Sharp from Threefold and Camila Ramos from ALL DAY) deliberated and deliberated. And then announced Rachel from Eternity as the Champion of Miami’s 1st Latte Art Competition – AND the recipient of the $500 1st Prize!
The remainder of the proceeds (over $1,500) was presented to Angel Pittman of “Touching Miami with Love”, a charity that empowers the communities of Overtown and West Homestead through programs and services for children. (@touchingmiamiwithlove)
As I looked around the room, the support and camaraderie was just amazing. Spectators were totally engaged, everyone was cheering the baristas on – regardless of what shop they were from. It was quite a moment. One we will have to repeat again soon.
That’s the thing about coffee and community; they’re addictive.