Gerry at the World Latte Art

Emma Markland Webster travelled to Seoul with our NZ Latte Art Champion Gerry Zhang and she wrote this World Latte Art Championship Report
Seoul, Korea, 1st – 4th November 2012
For the first time in the history of the World Latte Art Championship, New Zealand had an official champion! A proud moment, for the NZSCA and the NZ barista guild. Through a partnership with Brand Events and the Restaurant & Bar show we were able to host a championship in Auckland on the 19th August this year. In it’s first year we had a field of 18 baristas vying for a chance to become the NZ barista champion at latte art. The prize nothing fancy! Just a chance to compete again at the world event and a shot at the world title. Flights and accommodation of course were included in the package.
Xun ‘Gerry’ Zhang took out the title as NZ champ in a closely fought final round. After winning he immediately started his preparation to compete in November.
So off we flew to Seoul, Korea for the championship in early November. Gerry the Champion and myself to assist with the judging side of things and Carl Sara co chair of the WCE (world coffee events). Unlike the world barista championship no big team joined Gerry on tour. Though being in the main hotel packed with other champions, coaches and judges/organizers helped. A big part of these events is not only the competition but the friendships gained and knowledge shared through meeting like minded coffee professionals. Gerry was also looked after by ex NZBC competitor Elly Park who is now based in Seoul, so having a friendly NZ face & tour guide for Seoul was a great help.
Here’s a quick overview of what it was all about;
First round: baristas produce a single creative latte pattern at the Art Bar then move to the stage to create two identical free-pour lattes and two identical designer lattes.
Scores from the Art Bar and Stage are combined, and the top 6 competitors qualify for the final round.
Final Round: two identical free-pour macchiato, two identical free-pour lattes, and two identical designer patterned lattes.
The top-scoring competitor in the final round is declared the Latte Art Champion.
A field of 33 competitors competed in the championship. And at the end of day two the top six were announced. The standard and caliber of the art presented this year was amazing. After assisting in the running of the pre-judges calibration workshop using photos from last year it was hard to tell that the competition was the same!
Gerry didn’t make the top six but a very respectable 9th, not bad top ten in the world. We can all be immensely proud of NZ’s ‘Gerry’s’ campaign for the world crown.