Archive for the ‘latte art’ Category

The Knock-Out Rounds

August 11, 2010 1 comment
Excitement. Fun. Anxiety. Entertaining

This is the 3rd Latte Art Throw Down event held by Oriole Cafe & Bar since 2009. It was past 7pm and the few of us(organisers) were eager to see competitors popping up, but non yet. Slowly, 1 or 2 new +  familiar faces started to surface as the time approached 7.20pm on Tuesday (27th July2010). Instantly, the corner for challenges got flooded with enthusiast, competitors,  supporters, onlookers and people from coffee joints all over Singapore. ( I must say that the event was much more interesting than anyone could expect) Anyway, we welcome anyone who wish to compete, so it was pretty awesome to have 24 participants this round, which allowed a change in the competing format, which is – the Knock-Out system. The competing rounds were determined based on the numbering lots each participant has picked for him/her-self (please see chart below).

I think the chart does tell a lot about how the atmosphere went for that evening. Maybe I am wrong, but whoever has signed up for competition this time must be eyeing at those attractive prizes, and making it a much tougher match than ever. I have to agree that the prizes offered this season is a lot more inviting, hence  Keith being the host of the evening, added spice and seasoning to the existing tension amongst the competitors, with much intention to force these competitors to a higher level of challenge. Unbelievably, every single barista who competed, scored extremely well, making it a real tough time for the judges to decide who should move on to the next round of challenge.  The air around surely did stiffened & became more stressful while waiting for the successful name list to be released.


Didn’t I tell you it was really not easy

for the judges to select the section winner?




After 33 rounds of tough face-off, the 3 finalist evolved, and they are non other than Adam (Blue Mountain), Guo Li (Highlander) & Harris (Black). Not too easy to fake a smile, as the intense atmosphere still surrounds them tightly, until the results were released. Honestly, I did not think these 3 finalist arrived at Oriole with the intention to win the throw down championship that evening. But what  I can see is, each and every single one of them are all very dedicated when presenting their skills at the latte art pouring; the passion and effort are seen in each cup from the art.

Afraid that you may not have seen enough of this “Latte Art Throw Down 3” event? Wish to know how these guys managed to get to the top 3 positions?  We’ve made it possible for you to view & re-view the entire challenge on the live streaming we’ve plugged in the other night Some of the other little things we did to make it an even more eventful night on Tuesday, hope you will enjoy the bits of all these efforts. Cheers!

gadgets set up to capture the best shots for live streaming 3rd camera for 3D effect "my job = your eye pleasure"

winner gets all

We would also like to take this opportunity to extend our heart felt gratitude to all time supporters for Oriole Latte Art’s throw down activity:
Singapore Coffee Association & GreenFields Fresh Milk products for this successful event 


Categories: latte art

Latte Art ThrowDown II: The Finale!

November 11, 2009 4 comments

Having 17 competitors working through 34 cups of coffee, we still had time for a few more to get their hands on the machine. Kimberly called for competitors to step up, and I was volunteered by my teammates at Oriole to try my hands at impressing the judges. I could only manage a triple rosetta under that tremendous pressure. And that wraps up this round of competition.

Everyone took a short break while our 3 wonderful judges took meticulous effort to tally up the score. And surprisingly we have a tie for the top position. Shin Hao got a high score of 24 from 3 judges, with an average of 8 (max score is 10) and I managed to tie his score of 24. So to decide the winner, we had to do a tie-breaker. It was done in a face-off style. Both of us decide to pour a tulip for the face off. He did a 3 tier tulip while I attempted a 5 tier tulip. (Well it’s not about how many you pour, it’s more of how define the art is) The judges deliberated long and hard, and we were tied again!

So it’s face-off round 2. This time, the judges wanted us to duplicate what we just poured. And the art will be compared to the previous one and it will be judged on the similarities and definition. And I was awarded an extra point for similarity. It was a close call and it’s definitely a tough decision by the judges… Well I guess I walked away with the pot as well as the tamper thrown in by Kimberly, a bottle of red wine, courtesy of Oriole Cafe & Bar which was shared among some of the Baristas present.

Before you all thought that was the end of the night, we had an impromptu finale which is the Blindfold Pouring! Thanks also to Kimberly for throwing in the Reg Barber tamper as a prize! We opened it up to 5 contestants that were adventurous to attempt such a feat. (We had Ian, Raj, Terence, Alif & Danny)

Two thumbs up to Terence who managed to pull off a rosetta while being blindfolded. Well done my friend.

As the event came to a close, many of the baristas stayed on for a few drinks while we caught up after not meeting for a couple of months, we look forward to such gathering again. A round of applause to Kimberly for such an initiative, thank you to Emmanuel for helping to co-ordinate the flow of event. Once again thanks to SCA & Greenfields for helping us baristas & coffee lovers to meet. I’m already looking forward to meeting everyone at the next event.

I’m really glad to see baristas putting effort to improve the level of latte art in Singapore. We believe all this passionate & professional baristas will certainly elevate the coffee scene here in Singapore. Well done guys, keep brewing with dedication.

Categories: latte art, oriole

Latte Art ThrowDown II (part 2/3)

November 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Our coverage continues..

We have Faz from Jones stepping up to the machine, & we have a double heart on display. Good Job! Jocelyn from Spinelli, got ‘forced’ by Kimberly to take a shot at the machine, she pulled a lovely rosetta to give everyone a run for their money…

Faz having a go at the machine

Jocelyn of Spinelli

max smiling for the camera

Next up, we have Max (-the winner of Oriole’s previous round of Throwdown and, currently churning out coffee at Aerin’s). We can feel the pressure he is under to claim another round of bragging rights as he placed a lovely heart on the judges table.

Terence stepping up!

Terence from Kova wows the judges with a showcase of triple hearts. You can see that it went well with the 2 lady judges. Well done Terence.




Danny PangDanny from Espressoul shows what a seasoned showman can do by pouring a nicely defined rosetta with no pressure at all. Fareed of Gloria Jeans gets a rosetta onto the table almost effortlessly.

Fareed from GJIan from CuppaIan Consulta, award winning barista from CuppaChoice, shows everyone why he is one of the best by pouring an angel with a halo. Kudos to him for pulling off such a feat.






Vic from Oriole did not disappoint by pulling his new design. What should I call it? A two way rosetta? Till I find another name. My dear friend Chris Yeo from Spinelli does what he do best, charming the ladies with a beautiful heart on the top of the coffee. Well done my friend. Shin Hao from Starbucks, putting a very composed display with a HD (high-definition) rosettaVic looking intensely at the coffee.ShinHaoChris preparing his milk




DayardNext up, we have a last minute entry, (I think he’s Dayard, will someone please help me on this!) what a nice rosetta, he poured it and twist it to the side. What a different art he has displayed to the judges. Under the crowd’s insistence, Mr Ross Bright, Vice Chairman of the SCA steps up to show everyone that a Master Roaster can pour a rosetta as well as any Barista. Chris Short calls it a rosetta with a halo. Nice one Ross.Ross, our vice-chair of SCA




Next up, the results!

Categories: latte art, oriole

Latte Art ThrowDown II (part 1/3)

November 7, 2009 Leave a comment

After all the dust has settled, we finally found the time to blog about Oriole Cafe’s Latte Art ThrowDown II.

This time round, we managed to attract a total of 18 participants (although a few of us joined in the fun only at the very last minute).

First & foremost, we would like to extend our thanks to the people who made this possible, Singapore Coffee Association (SCA) for reaching out to all the members as well as coffee lovers, Kimberly who has been running tirelessly seeing to all the mechanics and logistics. Kudos to Greenfields for sponsoring the milk, as well as the representatives from Greenfields who came down to support the event, Mr Gilbert, Ms Carmen & Mr Samson. Special mention must be given to Ms Carmen, Mr Christopher Short of Caffeto & Ms Kimberly Yer who spend their precious time to be our judges.

Carmen, Kimberly & Chris Short
Milk for The NiteBy 7.40pm and after a few rounds of beer and wine, we got the event off to a start. First up, we have Alif who plies his trade at Jones. Nerves set in when you are the first person to step up. Nevertheless, he pulled off a very nice wave heart to the judges. Ivy from Oriole was the next, first time she is pulling latte art in front of such a large crowd, sees a little shivers in her hands. Puts out a lovely rosetta with nice solid foam. I take my hat off to her for being able to withstand the pressure even though she has been a barista only for the past three months.








Alif getting ready

Ivy looks on while waiting for her turn

Raj from our sister restaurant, Bedrock, got a little nice rosetta onto the table as well. Everyone can see that he has been putting hard work into training for this. Nizam of Jones amazed everyone by pulling off a swan. It’s definitely a lovely piece of work. Oriole has another barista putting his skill to the test; Astro stepped up and put a rosetta with lovely foam and nice definition.

Astro frothing the milk

Raj getting ready...

Nizam of Jones











In part 2..competitors from Gloria Jeans, Starbucks, Spinelli, CuppaChoice Espressoul and the SCA throw it down!

our roast this week… tasting notes

October 15, 2009 Leave a comment

Roasted: 8th Oct, Cupped: 14th Oct

We are getting some interesting notes out of this week’s coffee, from rambutan husk(!) & sweet musky wood on the dry fragrance to hazelnuts, toasted bread and caramel aromas after brewing. Some herbal flavours (almost like a chinese herbal tea) were present as well as distinct lingering chocolate notes.

Espresso tasting notes: sweet chocolate and burnt caramel on the nose. Lively lime acidity overlaid over dark herbs and ginger root flavours. Syrupy textures with distinct dark chocolate and nutty finish. This week’s roast was quite lively and so we tuned up the brew temperature to 94.5°C and got way more balance. We’ll probably tune it down slightly over the next couple of days as the acidity mellows out.

Macchiato tasting notes: over the top intensity (woah!) with good lime acidity underlined by sweet milk chocolate tones.

Latte art

April 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Here’s a random one. This shot was taken some weeks back. The latte art was done for a magazine shoot (Can’t remember now) and I piggybacked the shot on my camera too. We don’t usually make such large cups(this one was a 12oz cup I think, we usually use a 6-8 oz cup for Caps).

This is fun. I’m getting the hang of blogging.