SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - Baristas from all over southeast Missouri came together Thursday evening for the chance to earn the title of latte art champion.
It was all a part of the area's first ever Thursday Night Throwdown at Parengo Coffee in Sikeston, Missouri.
According to Colby Williams, owner and roaster at Parengo Coffee, latte art competitions are a big deal in coffee cities.
"Where you have a lot of shops and you have hundreds and hundreds of baristas because baristas get into competition and you want to make really cool designs on top of your lattes," Williams said. "So when there are a lot of people in larger areas that have lots of shops you see these frequently, sometimes weekly, at least monthly. And they have leagues built around this thing."
The idea to bring the event to the Heartland grew out of barista fights at Parengo coffee.
"We'd put two Parengo employees head to head," Williams said. "In 15 minutes they had to make a great latte, they had to make a great cup of drip coffee, however they wanted to make it and a drink they invented."
The throwdown featured baristas from Parengo, Ground-a-Bout, Cup 'n Cork and more.
Each barista was judged on appearance alone, who could make prettiest looking shape.
They poured hearts and a rosetta.
About 50 people from the community filled the shop, cheering the baristas on.
The goal of the night was simple: add fuel to the already brewing coffee culture to the area.
"The hope then is, if you are a barista and maybe it is just a part-time minimum wage job for you right now, you see something like this , you catch the bug, you start asking questions and you realize this could become a career," Williams said. "And then we're all richer. Our customers get better drinks, everyone is happier to come to work the next day because this is a purpose driven job at that point."
Owners of several coffee shops in southeast Missouri hope to make Thursday Night Throwdowns a regular event in the Heartland.
Stick with KFVS for news on the next event.