A few weeks ago, the folks from Primavera Coffee packed up and went to Atlanta's Octane Coffee Bar & Lounge for its first "Thursday Night Throwdown," a barista competition. Primavera's Brett Burton was the winner, and wife and busines partner Havila took fourth place. Even better, it was documented by a CNN reporter in a photo essay, which you can see online here: www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/04/04/coffee.art/index.html
As the Primaverans explain on their blog, each barista was given three minutes to pour one drink that embodied their skill. The drink was then photographed & projected onto a screen, accompanied by the scores of a panel of blind judges who analyzed the following: 1) Balance & Symmetry 2) Color Infusion & Definition 3) Use of Space 4) Overall Impression. Brett's winning pour was a small rosetta latte.
(Next time we're in Atlanta, we'll definitely be checking out Octane. Brett says it's the best coffee shop in the state, and we love what it says at the top of their web site: "We open early and close late. We're not sure, but we think it has something to do with the coffee.")