Photos and words by Jordan Smith
Is latte art important? Do I really need a leaf, a heart, or a humpback whale on top of my latte? Well, of course I do!
Denton is now home to quite a few independent coffee shops that are striving to give you a quality espresso experience. We now have the option to enjoy our coffee without the need for a few pumps of syrup in every cup. The question still stands, though, "Why do I need some squiggly design on top of my espresso and foamed milk?"
Those squiggly lines mark the level of craftsmanship inside your cup. To achieve good latte art, a barista has to understand the science of your drink. This science includes things like the freshness of the beans, how they've been ground, the temperature of the milk and the amount of foam. None of these things can be handled by an automated machine. Your Starbucks Verismo espresso machine will never dispense a latte with a rosette on top. This is why we were excited to hear that Seven Mile Coffee decided to start throwing monthly Barista competitions to find out who has the best latte art in town.
We had the opportunity of serving as one of three judges at the first Seven Mile competition. A handful of competitors showed up from around the metroplex. Contestants went head to head until everyone was eliminated but two final baristas. The final heat was a best of three showdown. The last two baristas had to create three different styles of latte art. In the end, victory went to Noe Lopez, a barista at Cultivar Coffee in Dallas. He walked away with a pocket full of cash and a room full of respect.
We are happy to see Seven Mile facilitating this competition that celebrates the advancement of quality product in Denton. We hope the quality and consistency being poured (yes, literally) into these cups begins to reflect the efforts of other businesses striving to make Denton a city of substance.