Coffee Fest. Every year in Chicago we have a three day weekend devoted to the delights and innovations of the coffee trade, where super skilled baristas compete against their fellows from all over the midwest, where roasters, brewers, chocolatiers, and anyone remotely related to the coffee biz pack into Navy Pier to hawk their wares to the little cafe reps (us). And you know how they do this? SAMPLES! This is like everything good and free about Costco, Whole Foods, and wine tasting, all rolled into on and all featuring, in some way, coffee. Brendan, Julia, and I went on Saturday to bask in the festivities and over-caffeinate ourselves amongst our midwest Barista Brethern.
No one from Unicorn competed in the Barista competition; an exclusive two-tiered event that includes a latte art show down and a signature drink competition. We witnessed a barista making an Indonesian inspired layered-shot involving avocado mixed with honey, espresso, and coconut milk. Delicious? We’ll have to take their word for it. While no one whipped up a “Unicorn” and blow the judges away with our ironic use of “standard” coffee-drink ingrediants, New Barista-Luke (I think I only have another week or so where I can use this moniker) performed as the “second” to his former-Metropolis pal, Ryan, during day one of the competition. What’s a second? well, if Ryan went down trying to tamp the perfect shot or was somehow killed by a freak steam wand accident during the 15 minutes of competition time, Luke would have to step in and continue his noble work. Or just help him set-up and clean pitchers, etc. Still noble work.
So on with the pictures. Thank you to Brendan for documenting this sacred journey.