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Local coffeehouse plays host to regional coffee art competition

By: Dane Johnson
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What does a tulip and the mythical creature pegasus have in common? Aside from their admirable beauty, well, not a whole lot. Except when they are both poured as lactic art expressing itself over a double espresso. Pair those pouring from a shiny carafe of steaming milk with an excited crowd of coffee lovers and you’ve got a caffeinated competition on your hands, which is what transpired at the Pour Throwdown, The Pour Choice’s first latte art competition on May 14 in Auburn.

Competitors, most of whom were seasoned baristas, travelled from far and wide — some driving over the mountains from Reno and others up from the Bay Area — for a chance to compete. Nearly 50 baristas signed up to participate in the throwdown.

The event was enthusiastically emceed by Temple Coffee Roasters Jeremiah Frazier. Coffee was provided by Verve Coffee Roasters from Santa Cruz. Prizes were donated by Auburn’s own Clementine Coffee Roasters, Stella + Parker, Kra Creations, with regional roasters Mast Coffee Co., Valiant Coffee, Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters and Pachamama Coffee also pitching in.
Though the latte art competition was billed as the main event — with a live-streamed broadcast projected on a wall for those seated upstairs — the night also invited attendees to contribute to the Paul E. Smith Scholarship Fund, a scholarship awarded annually to a high school senior who struggles with epilepsy.