Want to see a very happy man? That’s Steven Lim of Charlotte screaming louder than a barista getting a $20 in his tip jar.
He has a good reason: Lim came in first at the World Latte Art Championship on Oct. 23 at Coffee Fest in Portland, Ore. Lim is a process engineer for S&D Coffee in Concord and also works as a barista at Not Just Coffee on Saturdays at the 7th Street Public Market in Charlotte. There were 64 people competing, who came from as far away as China, Japan and Thailand.
In a blog post for S&D, Lim calls the competition “a competition of strategy and bullet proof nerves.” Baristas have 3 minutes to pour free-hand with no tools to create their image, aiming for color contrast, symmetry and degree of difficulty, and they have to get their cup to the judges intact. It was the seventh time he has entered the contest.
ADDENDUM: A coffee-world follower clarifies that the contest Steven Lim won is the Coffee Fest Latte Art World Championship, a regional Pacific Northwest competition, which isn’t to be confused with the World Latte Art Championship operated by World Coffee Events, which was held in Swden in June.