Competition rules were sent to me over the weekend from Jason Silberschlag of Cartel Coffee Lab. They’re throwing a Barista Jam and Latte Art Competition on March 3rd. A. Competitor Signup In order to participate, the competitor must have experience with espresso preparation and the equipment used to do so. In addition, the competitor must have experience pouring milk based beverages. Sign-up begins at 8:00PM by way of an announcement. 8:20 is the cut off time. If a person is not signed up by 8:20PM, then they will not be able to compete. At the sign-up, the competitor will give their name, and be assigned a number, and will pay their $10. B. Competition time/Competitor requirements Competitor will have his or her number called, and must be available and ready to compete while the number that is 2 before them is currently competing. Competitor will have 3 minutes total behind the machine. This is includes optional prep/grind adjustment. It is not necessary to fill the whole 3 minutes. Competitor can pull as many shots as he or she wants within the 3 minute time frame. Each competitor will get one pitcher of milk, and only one opportunity to steam. Spilled milk will be handled case by case. A selection of mugs will be provided for the competitor to choose from, but the competitor can bring his or her own mug of choice, as long as it is solid and non-patterned and has no logo or brand. Espresso and milk are provided, and those are the only choices. Competitors MAY NOT bring their own espresso or milk. The latte art must free pour, no etching or sauces allowed. Only ingredients will be espresso and milk. Once the drink is poured, competitor will place it on the designated saucer to be photographed. After it is photographed, it will be carried by one of the officiators to the judging table. If the competitor is not happy with his or her pour, then the competitor can choose not to submit it for scoring, by notifying an officiator. If the competitor spills the drink on the way to being photographed, he or she does NOT get another chance to pour again. If the officiator drops the drink on the way to the judges or the judges knock or spill it before they can score it, the drink will be judged from the photograph. C. Judging The drinks will be judged in 4 categories. Balance & Symmetry Dividing lines are clean, even, and show no signs of hesitation. Individual elements work well with and compliment each other. There is no sense of awkwardness. Color Infusion & Definition The contrast between the whiteness of the foam, and the darkness of the crema How infused or intertwined the brownness of the crema is with the whiteness of the foam The intention of the design is obvious and clear Use of Space The design fills the cup with in an appropriate and pleasant way The design neither crowds the cup, nor leaves it feeling empty or unfinished There is a harmony between the size of the cup and size of the design Overall Impression Drink is free of spill marks and cup is appropriately full of liquid Size of cup General aesthetic appeal Subjective appreciation Each of the 3 judges can award up to 6 points in each category, giving the possibility of a perfect score in a category being 18, and in perfect score in all categories 72. Judges can award 1 to 6 five points. 0’s are not allowed. The scale works as follows: One point = Acceptable Two points = Average Three points = Good Four points = Very Good Five points = Excellent Six points = Extraordinary In the case of a tied total score, the competitor with the highest Overall Impression score will be declared the winner.