Winner of the Meadow Fresh New Zealand Latte Art Championship 2018 is Leo Li

Charanjeet Singh Saini, Leo Li and Isabella Brown (L-R) | Photo credit Sam Low
Representing New Zealand at the World Champion Latte Art in Brazil this November is Leo Li of Atomic Coffee Roasters in Auckland.  Leo is now our Champion for two years running.
Our Runner-up is Charanjeet Singh Saini of Global Byte Cafe in Invercargill, a first-time competitor and Isabella Brown of The Block Cafe in Auckland in third.
The 17 artists from Invercargill to Auckland competed over two rounds. The open (preliminary) round allowed competitors a total of eight minutes stage time.  They were asked to pour two matching sets: four total drinks: two matching free pour lattes and two matching designer pattern lattes (which may incorporate etching, or similar techniques, and surface decoration). Note: Artists may use food colouring but this will be limited to one colour & to highlight only.
The top six through to the final round were (in no particular order) were:
Charanjeet Singh Saini, Global Byte Cafe, Invercargill
Matt Ross, Excelso Coffee Roasters, Tauranga
Isabella Brown, The Block Cafe, Auckland
Jordan Hales, Ozone Coffee Roasters, New Plymouth
Hoony Chae, Mojo Coffee, Auckland
Leo Li, Atomic Coffee, Auckland
The final round allowed the competitors 10 minutes stage time.  In this time they were asked to pour three matching sets: six drinks: two separate sets of matching free pour lattes and one set of matching designer pattern lattes (designer lattes may incorporate etching or similar techniques, and surface decoration). Note that artists were able to use food colouring but this was limited to one colour and to highlight only.
The judges had spent the day before in calibration mode with Sam Low as calibration barista.  He then became the EmCee for the Championship and had some empathy for the competitors as a two-time previous winner.
An epic day of food trucks, music,  and crowd interaction in a fantastic venue has elevated this exciting visual event to new levels of awesomeness! Kōkako Organic Coffee Roastery were the perfect hosts with the coffee flowing into ceramics, kids corner and their blue box keeping the crowds entertained, educated and spoilt.  Our generous sponsors had created interactive pouring competitions with a chance to win some sweet prizes.
Congratulations to all seventeen artists from Invercargill to Auckland who battled it out in a tense day requiring nerves of steel!
Special thanks to the volunteers for helping – see you next time to compete!
Massive thanks to all our sponsors, venue host Kōkako, volunteers, judges and the spectators who support our coffee industry.
 Photo Credits: Claire Massong @clairemossong