Battle of the baristas at Caviar and Bananas

Image by Flickr user j_baryImage by 20091014-barista.jpg

On October 20 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Caviar & Bananas will be hosting their first ever barista competition called the 'Tuesday Night Throwdown'.

There are 20 spots for Charleston most talented baristas, so be sure and show up by at least 6:30 p.m. to secure your spot in the competition. There is a $5 entry fee, but the winner will receive $100.

Here are the rules:

A. Competitor Signup

- Limited to 20 competitors
- 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 6:30p.m. by way of an announcement.
- 7:30p.m. is the cut off time. If a person is not signed up by 7:30p.m., 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 $5.

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

The event is free and open to the public.

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