The Deus Latte Art Showdown – Camperdown
For most people, the morning cup of coffee is just an excuse to kick the hangover, have a quick chat with a co-worker or get the mind moving.
For Yoshiteru Yoshida, or ‘Yoshi’, the man behind the bean machine at the Deus Residence of Impermanence in Tokyo, a cup of coffee means a whole lot more.
Yoshi hosted the inaugural Deus Latte Art Showdown in Tokyo last year, and following the success of the Japanese event, Yoshi and his entourage of coffee lovers swarmed on the Deus House of Simple Pleasures in Camperdown for the second instalment.
Immortalised in the graphic art of Stevie Gee, Yoshi’s signature moustache, green Deus cap and big smile were plastered around the venue, as he sat in the judges seat to watch competitors throw their technique, skill and passion into a coffee cup.
With the help of Vittoria Coffee, Yoshi made the trip out to Australia for the first time and joined 16 of Sydney’s best baristas to battle it out in a Latte Art Showdown.
The rules were simple – in each round, two competitors make a coffee, whoever’s is better goes through to next round – catch is, they need to make the coffee under some pretty bizarre circumstances, including wearing a welding mask, motorcycle helmet and gloves or using a milk jug welded to the end of motorcycle handlebars – simple stuff.
Live camera setups helped give the 150 odd spectators a peek at the action, as judges Yoshi, Rolando Schirato, Dare Jennings, Carby Tuckwell and Raf Bartkowski, had the difficult job of deciding which barista got through.
Beers from Corona and rum cocktails from Nusa Cana kept everyone in good spirits, and things got pretty heated for the final round, with Cass from Single O taking out the top prize – $1500 cash from Vittoria Coffee.
The Deus Latte Art Showdown isn’t your regular coffee event – in a world where the pretentious barista is a genuine sub-culture, Yoshi stands as quite the contrary – bringing a warmth, excitement and buzz to such a simple event format.
The man with the moustache will no doubt be back to win some hearts and pour some lattes for next year’s event.
Photography – Thomas Walk