The following competition rules / guidelines have been written by Todd Welfelt (I helped a little bit). You can read them below or download a Latte Art Competition Rules PDF. Please note that these rules may be updated at any time.

Competition format:

Each competitor will provide a total of three drinks to the judging panel to be judged. Two drinks will be rosettas and the third will be competitors choice. Competitors will have 5 minutes to provide the drinks with 5 minutes for cleanup afterwards.

The drinks can be provided in any order and the competitor can produce as many drinks as the time allows. Only the three drinks served to the judging panel will be judged. The competitors will not loose marks for making more than three drinks but once a drink has been given to the judges a competitor cannot take it back.

The competitors will be timed. The competitor will let the judges know when to begin timing. Points will be deducted for competitors who go over the specified time limit at the following rate:

  • Up to 1 minute over – 5 point deduction
  • 1 minute to 2 minutes over – 10 point deduction
  • 2 minutes to 3 minutes over – 15 point deduction
  • 3 minutes to 4 minutes over – 20 point deduction

The competitors will be judged on the following criteria:

  1. Taste – 30%
  2. Presentation – 30%
  3. Originality – 30%
  4. Preparation/Cleanup – 10%

Each drink served for judging can earn a maximum of 30 points – 10 points for taste, 10 points for presentation, and 10 points for originality giving competitors the ability to earn 90 points from their three drinks. The final 10 points will be given when the competitor has indicated they have finished cleaning the workstation.


Each drink will be given up to 10 points for taste. Taste will be judged using the following criteria:

Latte – can contain and will be accepted within any of the following parameters:

  • ?Must contain a distinct espresso taste
  • Must contain steamed milk
  • Must have between 0.5 and 1.5cm rich dense foam on top
  • Cocoa or chocolate can be used to decorate the top of the latte. It must contain crema and milk in any design
  • Sketching and free pour are both acceptable presentation styles. Barista will not lose or gain
  • points over style selection but rather on clarity and quality of design and beverage taste
  • Competitor choice designs do not have to be purely free pour. Other implements for decoration can be used such as sketching tools and stencils.


Each drink will be given up to 10 points for presentation. Criteria for presentation are as follows:

  • Clarity of design
  • Design style
  • Milk texture
  • Quality of espresso

Rosetta – latte art design that resembles a leaf

  • Generally has 4 or more distinct leaves on either side of the stem
  • Has clear definition between the lighter colored milk and the darker colored espresso/crema
  • Is evenly distributed in the center of the cup


Each drink will be given up to 10 points for originality. Originality points will be awarded for unique design, personal flair/passion, original use of ingredients, and unique preparation and presentation of the drinks.


Each competitor will be given up to 10 points for proper preparation and cleanup of the workstation. Points will be deducted if the workstation is left unclean.

Maximum number of points available for a competitor is 100. The two highest scores will be our winners. Remember – this is a fun and friendly competition. Always remember to have fun and enjoy the coffee community in Arizona!

Arizona Coffee

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  1. jc

    Hey just wondering the rules didn’t state if the competitor is required to bring own milk, espresso, pitcher, mugs ect….. or if they can use own espresso?

  2. JC: Good question! You can bring whatever you like, however milk, espresso, pitcher, mugs and all will be provided. The espresso is from Ground Control Coffee. The milk (I don’t know).

  3. Really wish i could make it but it isn’t looking good. Qualifications for a latte seem someone stringent. The best latte art milk seems to be micro foam but very liquidy and almost indistinguishable from that regular milk. Definitely not thick and dense. That sound more like a cappuccino to me. Am I wrong?

  4. Todd

    Good question Austin! The definition of a ‘latte’ is something I pulled from a barista championship definition guide, not necessarily from a latte art competition. In all of this I wanted to make this event fun for everyone – competitors, sponsors, judges, and the public. I don’t want to have rules that prevent someone from competing. That line is something that Chris and I will discuss and likely will end up removing from the final judging form. Please feel free to come by and join the fun and help us review the rules in preparation for the next one!

  5. I want to excuse myself. Even though I was practicing all week (some of you guys got to try lattes for free at the shop so that is payment enough) I am not going to be able to go. It is great all the work and detail on organizing this event. Thank you so much Steve for being so cool. I am looking forward to meet all of you next time. And Yes, I really like the fact that some of you were thinking on beating me (it is not hard to do), after all competition is what makes us better and better all the time. Until next time.

  6. Hi Ron, sorry you couldn’t make it out tonight. We’ll be doing it again. The competition was really fierce.

  7. Dude, this is awsome. Thank you so much for putting colour in our coffee culture. I will practice a lot for next time now that I see all the talent in our town. Congratulations to Joseph.

  8. Pingback: Arizona Coffee – Latte Art Contest Score Sheets