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THE CREAM OF THE CROP This cup close-up shows latte art similar to that created by the event’s 28 contestants. This time, given the weather, Trilogy event organizers opted to use hot chocolate instead of coffee.” width=”696″ height=”464″ />

THE CREAM OF THE CROP This cup close-up shows latte art similar to that created by the event’s 28 contestants. This time, given the weather, Trilogy event organizers opted to use hot chocolate instead of coffee.

The house was packed at Trilogy Coffee Roasting Co. Feb. 7, for the Latte-Art Slapdown.

The event had baristas from around Central Florida competing to see who could create the best art-in-a-cup, using the latte foam during the pour.

While this was the Downtown DeLand coffee shop’s third latte-art event, it was the first to feature hot chocolate instead of coffee as a medium for the art.

“We’re mixing it up a little bit,” said Matthew Creech.

He explained that the choice to use hot chocolate was, in part, due to the idea of not wanting to waste coffee, combined with the cool temperatures outside that would mix perfectly with hot chocolate.

The competition was open to anyone willing to pay the $10 entry fee. The winner would collect all the entry fees as his or her prize. 

Trilogy baristas Mat-thew Creech and Kalie Williamson have been the driving forces behind the event, and have taken on most of the planning, according to Anna Coleman, another Trilogy barista. 

“It’s common for coffee shops to host latte-art competitions that baristas from all over the area attend,” she said. “Our staff from Trilogy have attended several all around Florida.” 

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THE ALL-IMPORTANT POUR — Emcee and event organizer Matthew Creech competes in the latte-art showdown at the Downtown DeLand coffee shop where he works.” width=”696″ height=”464″ />

THE ALL-IMPORTANT POUR — Emcee and event organizer Matthew Creech competes in the latte-art showdown at the Downtown DeLand coffee shop where he works.

Trilogy spices it up by applying themes to their competitions, encouraging everyone to dress up and get more involved.

“Our very first one a couple years ago had a wrestling theme, and last year was Western-themed,” Anna said. 

The theme this year was 1990s throwback, so guests were encouraged to dress for the decade, and many attended in denim, grunge aesthetic, and patterns that paid homage to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. 

Popular ’90s television show Saved by the Bell seemed to be an inspiration for decorations around the coffee shop, bringing to mind the colorful shapes and patterns of the show’s intro.

The event kicked off officially a little after 7 p.m., to give people time to find parking, as the neighborhood was busy with the Artisan Alley Farmers Market in full swing nearby.  

Twenty-eight contestants entered, so the winnings were a staggering $280.

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WELL-DONE — Employees of Trilogy gather with celebratory balloons after the conclusion of their event. In front, from left, are Matthew Creech, Anna Coleman, Macy Harwell and Sky Fitzgerald. In back, same order, are Ellie Berger, Kalie Williamson and owner Michelle Cass.” width=”696″ height=”464″ />

WELL-DONE — Employees of Trilogy gather with celebratory balloons after the conclusion of their event. In front, from left, are Matthew Creech, Anna Coleman, Macy Harwell and Sky Fitzgerald. In back, same order, are Ellie Berger, Kalie Williamson and owner Michelle Cass.

Master of ceremonies Matthew jokingly told the crowd, “I’m sorry if you have a flip phone,” as he explained the voting would be conducted on the social-media platform Instagram — despite that Instagram wasn’t around in the 1990s. 

After each pour, Kalie photographed the latte art and shared it to the event’s Instagram story. Everyone had two minutes to vote.

The winner proceeded to the next round, closer to the grand prize.

The back patio at Trilogy, 136 W. Georgia Ave., was open so attendees could get some fresh air and sample drinks. 

Centro Tea Co., whose tea is sold at Trilogy as well as at the Artisan Alley Farmers Market, offered two teas: Mango Merrymint and J’aime Berries. 

Another event sponsor, Central 28 Beer Co., had some of their brews available to sample. 

BobaCakes Cafe, a new bakery next to the SunRail station in Lake Mary — which serves Trilogy Coffee — brought miniature cupcakes for guests. 

Guests were also allowed to drink the hot chocolate once voting had concluded. 

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COMPETITORS — Kaycie Lisciak and Claire Begalla prepare to compete in the latte-art showdown. Trilogy keeps the competitions friendly and fun for all involved.” width=”683″ height=”1024″ />

COMPETITORS — Kaycie Lisciak and Claire Begalla prepare to compete in the latte-art showdown. Trilogy keeps the competitions friendly and fun for all involved.

As if that wasn’t enough, there was also a raffle for prizes from each of the sponsors. Each ticket cost $1, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to The Center Orlando, which helps members of the LGBTIQ+ community.

These prizes included shirts, subscriptions to Barista Magazine, and a very nice-looking coffee grinder, that I unfortunately did not win.

The final latte-art showdown was between Mason Marth from Lineage Coffee Roasting in Orlando and Kaycie Lisciak from Axum Coffee in Winter Garden.

Despite a spectacular showing from Kaycie, the winner of the slapdown was Mason.

Asked how he felt about the victory, Mason said, “It feels great! I try to go to as many of these events as I can — it’s a fun way to hang out with everyone.”

Trilogy owners Clay and Michelle Cass encourage their staff to plan ways to bring the community together, Anna said.

For example, every month the coffee shop hosts an artist reception, with complimentary snacks and punch, too.

Give Trilogy Coffee a follow on Instagram or Facebook to stay up to date with their events.

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PACKED HOUSE — Trilogy Coffee Roasting Co. is full for the latte-art showdown, with patrons from across Central Florida. In front, Olivia Begalla is on hand to cheer for her barista sister.” width=”696″ height=”464″ />

PACKED HOUSE — Trilogy Coffee Roasting Co. is full for the latte-art showdown, with patrons from across Central Florida. In front, Olivia Begalla is on hand to cheer for her barista sister.

 

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