Peace Coffee’s Thursday Night Throwdown Recap

Peace Coffee Thursday Night Throwdown

Courtesy Sarah O’Brien and Peace Coffee

Most barista competitions focus on latte art and therefore — you could argue — miss the entire point of coffee, which is flavor. Peace Coffee’s Thursday Night Throwdown redefined the barista battle as an elimination competition dedicated to the creation of on-the-fly signature drinks using secret ingredients (including lemon, lychee, and eggs). Peace Coffee Head Barista Jackson O’Brien put the contest together and wrote it up in copious detail over on his Tumblr. Five local baristas from outfits including Cafe Imports, Twin Cities Leather & Latte, Blue Ox, Peace Coffee, and Five Watt Coffee competed; Peace Coffee Head Roaster Derek De La Paz and yours truly from the Heavy Table judged drinks on balance, originality, and tastiness; and Keith Tomlinson of Blue Ox Coffee (above, right) won the day with a subtle but beautiful riff on the secret ingredient of eggs that somehow had all the smoothness and pleasure of chocolate-coffee shake with none of the sugar.

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James Norton

James Norton is editor and co-founder of the Heavy Table. He is also the co-author of Lake Superior Flavors, the co-author of a book about Wisconsin’s master cheesemakers, and a regular on-air contributor to Minnesota Public Radio.

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