Latte art contest at DFS Galleria Waikiki


Above left: latte art. Right: Pete Licata explaining the latte art contest at last year's event.

Looks are everything. At least when it comes to lattes. For me, lattes aren't just a morning drink, but also an opportunity to admire the artwork of a skilled barista. It's like my own private Zen garden in a cup, a miniature refuge for contemplating ephemeral beauty. Good latte art, often found at Honolulu Coffee Co. and Morning Glass Cafe, will show off really tight bubbles, almost as smooth as foam, and a contrast between the dark espresso and white, creamy milk. But don't take my word for it: see it for yourself at Saturday's latte art contest, as part of DFS Galleria Waikiki's Art of Hawaiian Coffee event.

The contest will take place from 2 to 8 p.m. and will be conducted in heats. The semi-finals and finals will start at about 7 p.m. The judges include Pete Licata (2011 US Barista champion) and Hiroshi Sawada (Japan World Latte Art champion in 2008). Among the judging criteria:

- aesthetics and symmetry
- color contrast
- creativity and difficulty

Clouds in your coffee? Don't settle for that.

And while we're on the subject of coffee art, check out this fun time lapse video of DFS Hawaii breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest coffee mosaic art—a portrait of Elvis made with 5,642 cups of coffee with 10 different shades.

DFS latte art contest, Saturday 2 to 8 p.m. at DFS Galleria Waikiki, 330 Royal Hawaiian Ave. DFS Galleria Waikiki's Art of Hawaiian Coffee event runs through August 26,

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