Vittoria Coffee Barista Smackdown
Combining over 65 years of roasting experience with one of the most technologically advanced roasting facilities in the Southern Hemisphere in Sydney’s Silverwater, Vittoria Coffee is not only about the art, but the science of coffee.
This dedication to coffee design was on full display at the Vittoria Coffee Barista Smackdown Competition, held on 3 May at The Venue in Alexandria, New South Wales. The event featured 40 of Sydney’s top barista talent, showcasing their latte art skills for their share in the $10,000 prize pool.
“We’re excited to have brought together over 150 hospitality guests in celebration of Sydney’s most-talented baristas. There was some incredible talent on display and I’d like to thank all the baristas who competed,” says Vittoria Food and Beverage Managing Director Rolando Schirato.
“Things have certainly changed since I joined the business over 20 years ago when free pour latte art was only just starting. We’re proud to support the people who continue to make Australian coffee culture the best in the world.”
The competition featured four head-tohead knockout rounds, judged by Rolando; Orazio D’Elia, Owner of Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta and Mia Dolci; and Adrian Duquilla, TNB Café Owner. Round one, dubbed the ‘Wheel of Latte’, consisted of 20 heats where baristas replicated a latte art design determined by a spinning wheel.
Patterns included simple hearts and complex phoenixes. Round two was the ‘Express-o’ round where the remaining 20 competitors produced an espresso, latte, piccolo, and flat white within three minutes. Points were awarded for speed and aesthetics.
In partnership with dairy alternative brand Califia Farms, round three saw 10 competitors pour their best tulips using oat milk. The final round allowed five baristas to draw on their own creative flair. They made four coffees each including their own unique designs.
Competitors created designs including a seahorse, fox, and bunny rabbits.
Australian latte art champion Rawirat Techasitthanet, also known as Jibbi Little, won the competition and $5000. Enzen placed second, taking home $3000. Ashik Shrestha placed third and took home $2000.
Master of ceremonies Danny Clayton facilitated the tense competition while guests enjoyed a night of live music, street food and drinks.
Thanks to event partner Faema, event attendee Gina Filardi went home with a one-group Faemina coffee machine and grinder valued at over $10,000. Vittoria makes a special thanks to all event partners, including Faema, Gartelmann Wines, Home Grown Cocktails, Food and Dairy Co, Califia Farms, Sydney Brewery, and Santa Vittoria.
“We are fortunate that Australia is recognised as a leader in specialty coffee so I think it is a great opportunity for baristas to test and showcase their skills at events like this,” Rolando says. “For over 65 years, Vittoria Coffee has been instrumental in the evolution of Australia’s pure coffee industry and have remained a proud third-generation family business where our expertise in coffee making has been passed down from one generation to the next.”