What do you do when you have a superstar barista in your team who won the Sydney round of the Detpak Latte Art Smackdown and can shape up kangaroo latte art? Well, first you order a coffee from him, and then you ask him a bunch of questions.
Meet Vincent! He’s our latte art extraordinaire who’s been busy perfecting his latte art skills since joining The Grounds of the City team in August last year. He’s caught competition fever, with this being his fifth latte art comp, and with the Sydney win under his belt he scored a ticket to Melbourne for the next round of the smackdown.
When we asked him how he prepares for a competition, he said it comes down to smashing out as much latte art as possible, which isn’t difficult when he’s helping the City barista team get through around 30 kg (approx 2000 cups) of coffee per day.
Vincent’s advice to those thinking of entering a competition? “Enter as many competitions as you can, no one can begin and walk out with a title right away; it’s a high pressure environment, you have to persevere, learn from the other competitors and keep trying your hardest.”
Linda, our Head Barista from The City gave Vincent a little advice before his first competition. “Make sure you say hi to everyone, be friendly, explain what you’re doing and you’ll be fine.” Linda has been a great support to Vincent since he started, offering advice and pushing him to reach his full potential. He says the role in our city venue has opened the door to a whole new level of coffee for him, and from what we’ve heard, he’s opening doors too, sharing his tips and tricks with the rest of the team.
The kangaroo we mentioned earlier is one of Vincent’s own designs; he loves to see the expressions on guests’ faces when he places it on the table. Why the Kangaroo? Vincent explained that in the latte art world, you need to have a design that is unique to you, something that you are recognised for. “At first I tried to make the Sydney Opera House, but it’s actually really difficult, I’m still working on it, so for now I’m going with the kangaroo!”
To add to Vincent’s impressive list of achievements, he’s also the co-founder of the Vietnamese Barista Community (VBC), he hosts regular education sessions and hopes to inspire Vietnamese students to immerse themself in Australian coffee culture. Keep an eye out for the results of Vincent’s next competition at The Vietnamese Latte Art Smackdown – we have no doubt he’ll do us proud!