If you've ever been to The Grounds of Alexandria, you'll know how good the food is, especially the coffee. It's always bustling with people, the energy is amazing. It's just always busy. The lines are long, but it's always worth the wait. It's a very rare opportunity for a customer to be able to witness the cafe empty. Luckily last night, I got to.
In the cafe industry there is something known as a 'latte smackdown'. Which is a pretty straightforward thing: a competition where the best baristas bring out their lucky barista jugs (and I'm not kidding some of them have engravings, stickers, custom made jugs) in order to compete to see who can create the best coffee art. Now I mean, I'm just a casual drinker of coffee, it's not an essential to my way of life - it's more of a social thing or a pick-me-up type of thing. But the people last night, COFFEE is their passion. As dim-witted as it sounds, it's never really occurred to me that there was such a hype over these type of things. The life of a barista. It's something completely out of my field, but it was interesting watching all of this unfold before me as a fish out of water.
People used jargon such as cold pressed, cold dripped, rosetta - shit I ain't never paid attention to or knew of. Nonetheless, the smell of grounded coffee has still not left me. That smackdown went on till quite late into the night.
I was given the opportunity to shoot the event, capturing the baristas in action and the coffees they produced. Below are a small collection of some of my favourites. I like how they're so immersed by the coffee as they focus their pour for accuracy. It's just quite eye opening witnessing other people and their passions in action.
The event was sponsored by Almond Breeze, with a $1500 cash prize. From my understanding of 'coffee', almond milk is a lot harder to work with to produce coffee art. It's got to do with the formulation or something. I think. Nonetheless, it was quite an eye opening event and an experience I won't forget.