OK so here's the main part of the PR release from the Aust. Latte Art Champs which have just taken place in Melb.:
Sensory Lab’s Ben Morrow wins Australian Latte Art Championship Ben Morrow of Melbourne’s Sensory Lab is the 2016 Australian Pura Latte Champion. The St Ali Family proudly took first and second place in the competition, with Shinsaku 'Shin' Fukayama of Sensory Lab winning runner up, and Jibbi Little of Skittle Lane winning third place.
The competition, hosted by the Australian Specialty Coffee Association (ASCA), attracted hundreds of supporters, tourists, and passersby at Queensbridge Square along Southbank, Melbourne from 4 – 5 March. The open air event was held in collaboration with the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.
Caleb is the reigning WLAC, but only for a few months longer. The question now, is can Australia win the WLAC back to back?
“Of course,” Ben said. “Every country is working hard and pushing their designs to the limit, especially Korea, Japan and China. Since baristas have global access to imagery, people are learning techniques and patterns everywhere and anywhere. We’re living in a golden era of coffee in terms of techniques, technology, coffee processing, and access to quality beans. It’s no surprise to anyone that our barista talent is at an all time high. We have lifted our game again after having Caleb win the WLAC, and the exciting thing for Australia is that any of our finalists could have represented the country on the world stage.” END
I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but I rue the day when latte art champs became just about the pretty patterns, not about the coffee underneath. I remember World barista and World Latte Art champs (& free-pour masters) like Paul Bassett, Scottie Callahan and Jack Hanna, who I was pretty close to at the time, all saying the same thing: "it's not just about the pattern, it's all about the coffee underneath"… and yet, now they don't even bother to taste the underlying espresso!!