We talk to Leo Li about competing in the World Latte Art Championship

Leo Li won the Meadow Fresh New Zealand Latte Art Championship and secured his place in the World Latte Art Championship in Budapest. Leo made it through to the semi-final where he placed an amazing seventh in the world! We asked him about his experiences.
1.What is your most memorable coffee experience?
The most memorable moment would be during orientation on day one when I was squashed in a little backstage room with the National Champions from 39 countries, as well as seeing different competition equipment from different cultures. Also exciting, was meeting in person the finalists from previous years who I have watched their performances on the web.
2. Had you ever participated in any coffee competitions before? Which competitions were they?
I have participated in the New Zealand Latte Art Championship three times and this was the first time I participated in the World Championship.
3. Tell us your results if you want to.
I made the top 12 out of 39 National Champions to make it to the semi-final round where I placed seventh.
4. What did you learn from the competition process?
I learnt that strategy and mind-set was very important for the world competition, as is experience and perseverance. I also found that having savvy equipment could save time during those precious minutes on stage.
5. How did you find your Championship city?
Budapest is very beautiful and unique with exquisite churches, castles and buildings, which are so different to the landscape of Auckland. Also, the taxi drivers are pretty fast and furious.
6. What was the best coffee you had in that city?
The brewed coffee I had at the coffee expo was pretty nice.
7. What would you like to be doing in five years? Still in coffee?
Probably. Perhaps I would have my own coffee shop.
8. Is there anyone in coffee who particularly inspires you? Why?
You tube and Instagram are my biggest inspiration, because of all the coffee posts and videos that are readily updated.
9. What advice would you give next year’s National Champion?
Keep calm and carry on.

Photo credit: Dianne Wang