Sunday, July 31, 2011

TNT & Art

We’re just now discovering exactly what TNT means in the world of coffee. While it is still an abbreviation for that wildly explosive material, we found out it is also short for something coffee houses call Thursday Night Throwdown.

Being curious what it was all about, we walked over to the coffee shop to check it out. Sebastian insisted it was high time he had a change of scenery so we brought him along as well.

tntaa_1“Can I be the judge? I have the glasses and my serious look.”

TNT is a latte art competition. Latte art is those fancy designs or patterns that the barista creates with the foam in an espresso drink.  Arriving early, we snagged ringside seats, ordered some mochas – which by the way, ended way too soon – and waited for the competition to begin.

tntaa_2“I can do this!  I can be a judge.”

The art on the left is a tulip design.  The one on the right – rosetta.

tntaa_3“Lovely symmetry, good contrast, nice definition.  I pronounce this design a winner.  Can I have some?”

Sebastian, the competition hasn’t even begun yet.  That’s not yours to drink anyway.  You need something decaffeinated.


Soon the shop filled up with competitors, supporters and the occasional customer too! 


The first competitors:  last month’s winner on the left (one of our very own baristas) and a barista from the chocolate shop I mentioned in the previous post.  Oh, that’s going to be tough!


“Who’s going to drink all those latte’s they’re making?  Can I have one?  Can I?  Can I?  Huh?”


Sometimes the baristas drew the unlucky ‘blindfold’ where they had to steam the milk and pour without seeing.  Those designs didn’t turn out too well as you can imagine but it was fun to watch!


One by one the baristas were eliminated.  Then the competition started to heat up – both literally and figuratively.


“Oh I want one of those.  Either one – makes no difference.”

Sebastian, you know one of those lattes would keep you up all night long.  They are pretty though.  Which one is the best?  Tough decision.


Down to the final two.  The reigning champion and his boss.  The design:  A Heart.  If he wins, will he still have a job?  Will he throw the competition?  And most of all, who will get to drink the winning latte?


Let’s be fair.  If we judge on symmetry, the one on the left wins.  But, that one on the right looks a lot like the hearts I draw in a hurry.  I kinda like it.  Judges, what say ye?  The one on the left?  Ah!  The champ still reigns!  He still has a job too.  (I know this because he made our mochas Friday afternoon.  Mine had a heart shape – and it was superb.)

The competition was friendly, loose, fun and entertaining.  Then we had to go home.  Even without the caffeine, Sebastian was singing:  “99 cups of lattes on the wall, 99 cups of lattes, take one down, pass it around, 98 cups of lattes on the wall . . .”


  1. Such a lovely post and Sebastian looks so sweet!
    I could really use one of those coffees too!

  2. Very interesting, and what lovely liquid designs.

    Sebastian, did you get to sample one, or two, or...... that singing brings me to think that you did get into some caffeine. (o:


  3. Sebastian, that looked as though you had a great night. I think you judged well. I liked the heart, it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. It looked as though they made many, many cups. Did you end up getting a decafe? Wilbur sends his love.

  4. Amazing what you can do with a cup of coffee!! Hugs, Catherine x

  5. How cool is that?! I didn't know that they had competitions for this. For that matter, I haven't even seen a cup of latte with a pretty design in person. :-)


  6. I like the left heart. But what do I know.
    Mama Bear

  7. looks like a lot of fun and the hearts think I would have chosen the one on the right too .. and Sebastian are you sure you didn't sneak a quick slurp love mouse xxxx

  8. Can I come ,can I, can I, !!!! I want to come and live with you guys. What fun you have....!

  9. That sounds like such a fun night! Alas, LT doesn't like tea or coffee, so no fun competitions for us - huh! I was singing on the way back in the car on Saturday night from the party. I wasn't passing lattes around though...


  10. You, madam, live in a magical world with coffee shop competitions, bitty bears and chocolate, all close enough to walk to. Very cool photos, I never knew they did anything like this (the competitions, that is)

  11. @ SilverNikNats - Oh yes, you do need a coffee. They are really delicious.

    @ The Bear's Blog - Sebastian says he'll catch up with you later and give you the lowdown. I think he's concerned I might find out something he doesn't want me to know.

    @ Kays Kids - Sebastian says to tell you he had fun. I'm pretty sure he didn't leave without a sip of something.

    @ Bumpkin Bears - It is, isn't it!?!

    @ Cheryl - Yeah, it was pretty fun. Makes me want to give it a try. I think it's probably a lot harder than they make it look.

    @ Love Bears All Things - You can vote however you like!!! The fun is in the camaraderie.

    @ Mouse - Uh, I'm getting a feeling from you all that Sebastian might have taken more than just a sip! It was fun!

    @ Sharon - Of course. I send you a list of things you can bring from your neck of the woods.

    @ Katy - Jack, you wayward little imp! You and Sebastian should get together and expand your vocal selections.

    @ Heather - It's one of those things - We live in our own little world, but it's okay, they know us here! ha ha! Yours world is a very creative one - all those drawings!

  12. oh, the tulip design look great. i like capuccino with double cream, and a litle of cinammon or dark chocolate...


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