NZSCG – Milk Wizard Auckland – Rules and Regulations

Latte Art Throw Down – Regional


The objective of the latte art throwdown is to allow the barista to gain experience and knowledge toward the World Latte Art Championship (WLAC) and New Zealand Latte Art Championship (NZLAC) in a friendly and casual environment.
In order to deliver the objective, the regional Latte Art Throw Down (LATD) follow the format to deliver constructive feedback to the barista during the LATD and allows the barista to have fun and walk away with valuable experience and knowledge.

Format & Rules

Round ONE

This round of the LATD is to allow all the competitors to have the opportunity to showcase their ability as the latte artist and be evaluated by calibrated and experienced judges and their pours scored.
Each competitor will produce either a latte of their own design or the set pour of the evening (tulip, rosetta, swan, etc) utilizing free-pour techniques only. No sprinkles/syrup are allowed, the drink should consist of only espresso and milk.
Shots are to be prepared by the nominated shot slinger.
The competitor may choose to steam multiple jugs of milk.
Once completed, the competitor will present their coffee at the designated photo station where a photographer will capture and print the competitor’s coffee. The competitor is to write their name on the photo once it is printed.
The competitors coffee photo will then be scored by the judges.
Competitors should endeavour to spend no more than 3 minutes behind the coffee machine, and the next competitor to start as soon as soon as practically possible.
Each competitor may enter both the open design and the set pour categories.
At the end of the allocated time for round ONE, or once all competitors have had the opportunity to pour; the top 4 scoring pours from each category will progress to round TWO for a total of 8 competitors.
To speed up this round it is recommended to have one competitor for each available steam wand pouring simultaneously.
Each judge will award a single score of 0-10 points based on the following considerations:
Contrast between ingredients
Harmony, size, symmetry and position in the cup
Overall appealing look
Successfully achieved
Each of the individual judge’s scores will be summed together to give a total score for the cup.
Recommended having THREE judges for the first round and ONE head judge to calibrate and score keep each round. The scores will be written on the photograph and placed on a wall or similar for all attendees to view.
At the end of the first round, the four highest scoring free pour design and four highest scoring set pour designs will progress to the second round.
In the case of a single competitor placing in the top four of both categories, their lower placing category will be forfeit and the next highest scoring competitor will take their place.
In the case of multiple tied scores for a single place, the Head Judge is to randomly select the placing of the competitors.

Round TWO

This round of the LATD is a single elimination knockout tournament style round. Competitors will compete head to head and the winner of each pair will go on to the next pairing until one champion Milk Wizard is crowned. A total of three judges should be used for each head to head throw down.
Seeding for Round TWO is to be in the following format with the 1st place of each category facing the 4th place of the other category:

QF1 1st Free Pour 1st Set Pour QF2
4th Set Pour FINAL 4th Free Pour
SF1 Winner QF1 Winner SF1 Winner QF2 SF2
Winner QF3 Winner SF2 Winner Q4
QF3 2nd Free Pour 2nd Set Pour QF4
3rd Set Pour 3rd Free Pour

Three minutes for each paring Competitors, drinks must be presented to the judges in the designated spot within the time frame given;
Each competitor will produce a latte of their own design, utilizing free-pour techniques only. No sprinkles/syrup are allowed, the drink should consist of only espresso and milk.
Shots are to be prepared by the nominated shot slinger.
Spectators are encouraged to cheer their supporting competitor, however any intentional sabotaging will deem the competitor disqualified and this call is to be made by the head judge with the support of the judging panel
Once both drinks from the pair are presented, the judges must proceed with evaluation immediately. With no discussion among the judges, on the count of 3, each judge will select their preferred pour by pointing at the cup. The winner will be the cup with the most number of fingers pointed.

A. Competitor Signs up & payment handling

Limited to 60 competitors
These spaces are determined by first come/first serve.
The host may opt for a number of pre-register competitors through the means of email/txt/social media prior to the day, any unfilled space on the day of the event will be made available to door sale.
The payment is recommended done through Eventbrite, the host should allow the access to Eventbrite prior to the event and on the night.
An email list is to be created for any barista that would like to participate the LATD but missed out.
In order to participate, ideally, the competitor should have experience with espresso preparation and the equipment used to do so. In addition, the competitor must have experience pouring milk-based beverages.

B. Competition time/Competitor requirements

During round ONE, it’s the responsibility of the competitor to get up to the machine and compete within the time assigned to round ONE. Competitors can come at any time within the allotted time and socialising is encouraged with spectators and other competitors when not on
During round TWO, competitors will have their names called, and must be available and ready to compete by the stage.
Competitors are encouraged to bring their own jugs and tools to help them to achieve the best result on the day.
A selection of jugs will be provided for the competitor to choose from if the competitor chose not to bring their own jug.
Milk will be supplied by the host and must be used on the day.
Coffee for espresso will be provided on the day and must be used on the day.
The latte art techniques allow are defined by the LATD format and rules, it differs from round to round. However, no sauce, colour, stencils and sprinkles are allowed.
Once the drinks are poured the competitor will place it on the designated space to be judged.

C. Judges selection

We recommended a panel of three judges and one NZLAC/WLAC judges as the head judge to assist in the calibration of judges.
The head judge’s role is to facilitate the fair judging and scorekeeping of the process.
The judges selected should have expertise, experience, recognition and ability to remain impartial.
The judges selected should be calibrated and have a good understanding of the judging criteria of LATD.
When possible, conflict of interest between competitors and judges should be avoided, i.e. partners, business partners, co-workers or friends.

D. Judging criteria

All drinks served to the judges/photographed must have its handle facing three o’clock.
Once the drink has been presented into the designated spot, it must only be handled by the judges from this point onward until the judges finish the evaluation process.

Visual quality of foam

Judges should visually assess the quality of the foam, for a bubble free, smooth, glossy rich consistency.

Contrast between ingredients

Judges will review only the drink presented to them. High points will be awarded to patterns demonstrating the sharp contrast between the surface of the beverage and the white milk foam. Unintentional mixing/blurring of the contrast will reduce this score. Judges should take into consideration areas of mixed crema and milk foam that are intentionally created by the competitor as a requirement of the desired pattern.

Harmony, size, and position in the cups

Judges will review only the pattern presented to them. Judges will be assumed to be right-handed unless the competitor asks the judges to determine differently, and so patterns should be presented orientated with the cup handle at three o’clock. Judges will review if the size of the pattern is suitable to the cup it is presented in. Judges will review if the pattern is aesthetically positioned in the cup. If the pattern involves several elements, are these elements positioned and balanced aesthetically with each other.

Successfully achieved

Judges will review only the pattern presented to them. A high score should only be awarded to difficult patterns successfully achieved and vice versa. Points should go to reward what is actually presented in the cup; if a competitor attempts a very difficult pattern but fails to represent that pattern at all in the presented drink then a low score should be expected.

Overall appealing look

Judges will review only the drink presented to them. Judges should review the look of the drink in its totality based on its personal impact on them.
Rules and Regulations of World Latte Art Championship 2017
Special thanks to
Kim Boyd
Takahito Koyanagi
Addison Dale
David Huang
All copyright to
New Zealand Specialty Coffee Association
New Zealand Specialty Coffee Guild
Document created: 26/01/2018 by Nico Refiti