The Irish Latte Art 2017 competition (or Paddy Art competition) was held in Bailies Coffee Roastery in Belfast on the 12th & 13th of November 2016. Yet again the level of creativity, imagination and skillful pouring techniques has evolved to even greater extents. This year we saw the highest number in the history of Irish competitions with 22 coffee artists taking part in the competition. People from all corners of the country packed up their belongings and headed northward to bunker down in the Bailies Roastery for a weekend of incredible entertainment.
From the 22 competitors in the semi-finals 8 went through to the finals. A very shocked and speechless Renata Khedun was declared the winner and will now represent Ireland in Budapest in June 2017.
As a spectator of these competitions it is easy for me to say that it is not about winning and all about the taking part. For those doubters of this phrase you need to get yourself to a coffee competition. Backstage we see competitors helping to prepare their opponents equipment despite the time constraints; we see selfies of groups who were complete strangers and are now friends; we see the sea-dogs of competitions showing the ropes to those newbies and we see first time competitors who are overjoyed to be placed within the top 10 of the competition.
To our sponsors La Marzocco, Urnex and Espresso Solutions I graciously bow and say thank you. A big thank you our national Latte Art judging teams, volunteers and SCAE committee members who as always have to cope with fast turnaround times as well as a grumpy event manager.
Significant kudos to Russell Bailie and his hard working crew who fed and watered everyone for the weekend. Never before has an Irish stew been devoured so quickly. A special mention to the emcee’s for the weekend Ross & Julia who did not stop talking from start to finish (not a difficult task for Ross may I add).
Again may I congratulate each and every Latte artist who took part in this year’s competition. Your passion and skills are beyond belief and always leave me speechless. I hope to see you all again soon. Don’t forget that the next competitions (Barista and Cupping) are at the RDS in February 2017. If not competing please come along and volunteer.
Is mise le meas,