Latte Art Throwdown!



Come one, come all to our FOURTH Latte Art Throwdown, where baristas from across Vancouver are invited to compete for the title of Latte Art Champion — and some awesome CASH PRIZES from our friends and co-hosts, Caffe D'arte Coffee Roasters. The pours start at 5pm sharp in our showroom (1015 Clark Drive), where we'll also have beer and light refreshments for competitors and guests, generously provided by House of Funk Brewing Co. and Signature Catering.

FIRST PRIZE = $500  |  SECOND PRIZE = $250  |  THIRD PRIZE = $100

Entry is FREE for competitors and spectators. Our competitor roster is FULL but come prepared to compete anyhow, as we'll be holding a series of mini-throwdowns between each round using oat m*lk from our event partners at Earth's Own. Espro will also be in attendance with prizes to be won. HUGE THANKS to Choices Markets for supplying milk from local farms!


Competitor names will be drawn at random and entered into a bracket system. Baristas will compete in pairs, each on a separate commercial espresso machine, and the winner between the two will proceed to the next round. This will continue until only two competitors remain, at which point a pour-off for third place will take place before the final round.

Each competitor must free-pour a latte into one of the 8-ounce ceramic cups provided and present it on the table in front of the panel of three judges for evaluation within a three-minute time limit. More than one attempt will be permitted; however, it is not necessary to use the full three minutes. Shots will be pulled by a designated host at each machine. No etching, powders, or sauces allowed, but baristas may use their own steaming pitchers if they wish.

Judges will evaluate competitors on their latte art only — technique will not be assessed. The pours will be judged in four categories:

  • BALANCE & SYMMETRY — dividing lines are clean, even, and show no signs of hesitation; individual elements complement each other.
  • COLOUR INFUSION & DEFINITION — contrast between the whiteness of the foam and darkness of the crema is pronounced; the intention of the design is obvious and clear.
  • USE OF SPACE — design fills the cup in an appropriate and pleasing way, neither crowding the cup nor leaving it empty or unfinished; there is harmony between the size of the cup and the size of the design.
  • OVERALL IMPRESSION — the general aesthetic is appealing; cup is free of spill marks while also appropriately filled.

Once both competitors have submitted their drinks for evaluation, the judges will (after a few moments' consideration) point at their preferred submission on the count of three. The submission with two or more in favour will be declared the winner, and the respective barista will proceed to the next round.

Only shot-pullers, competitors, and event hosts will be permitted inside the competition area (Barista Lab) once the event kicks off. Spectators will remain in the showroom, where the pours will be displayed on screens. Any action deemed an intentional sabotage of another barista's work may result in disqualification. heckling and/or bad-mouthing other competitors (or their cafes) is strongly discouraged.

The event will be filmed and photographed for social media and other promotional purposes by Espressotec. Rules and procedure are subject to change — your flexibility and understanding are appreciated.

The objective of the event is to engage our thriving local coffee industry in a friendly competition, and to celebrate our talented baristas – so have fun, play fair, cheer on your fellow competitors, and win some prizes! 

HUGE THANKS to our sponsors:

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