Tulsa Baristas Show Off At Latte Art Competition

Friday, May 8th 2009, 10:13 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Artists usually don't challenge each other to throwdowns, but that's what some local artists did.

But their medium isn't oil on canvas. Some shops in Tulsa take their steam, milk and coffee pretty seriously.

The most serious take a frothy drink and spin it into a masterpiece.

"It's a sign that you are good at making coffee 'cause it's hard to make latte art," said Brian Franklin, owner of Double Shot Coffee Company. "If you get it too thick, it won't work. If you get it too thin, it won't work. So you know if you got latte art, it was the right consistency of milk."

In seconds, an intricate design can bubble up as tantalizing to the eye as to the tastebuds.

Franklin wanted to bring the latte art competitions he's seen in other cities to Tulsa.

"We're trying to create a community with the baristas here in town," Franklin said. "Other places we go there's a tight-knit barista community, and it builds the coffee industry in those towns. And we're trying to make that happen in Tulsa and get better coffee here."

So the baristas came from all over town, lining up to lay their latte skills on the line.

Double Shot even rigged a camera and a few monitors, so folks could watch in the shop and online, through U-Stream.

The baristas faced off head to head, or cup to cup, comparing rosettas, the signature latte art creation.

Judging is a bit informal, but with cash on the line and the contestants hopped up on caffeine, the competition can get fierce.

In the end, organizers hope self-expression through espresso will draw Tulsa's coffee community together and boost business, a cup at a time.