For the Love of Latte Art - Disaster Relief Fundraiser
The Cleveland Brews (CLE Brews) coffee collective hosts its inaugural event “For The Love of Latte Art” on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at the Cuyahoga Community College Hospitality Management Center. The event begins with skill-building workshops for professional and amateur baristas interested in learning the craft of latte art. It concludes with a Latte Art Throwdown, where contestants will be judged on the quality of their coffee art—hosted by David Heilbrunn, President of Coffee Fest, who will be traveling from Seattle for the event. All proceeds for the competition will benefit the ASOBAGRI Coop Disaster Relief in Huehuetenango, Guatemala.
CLE Brews is Cleveland's newest league of coffee geeks who have come together with the unified purpose of strengthening the region's coffee culture and community through knowledge, sharing and cooperation. The CLE Brews team includes Phoenix Coffee Company , Erie Island Coffee Company, Caruso’s Coffee and Red Cedar Coffee.
The event will be held at Tri-C’s Hospitality Management Center located at 180 Euclid Avenue, Public Square. The beautiful facility, which houses the college’s Hospitality Management program, provides two demonstration studios, an outside dining patio and a video screen for spectators to view the excitement from outside.
ASOBAGRI (Asociacion Barillense de Agricultores), located in the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala, was founded in 1989 by twenty K'anjob'al Mayan coffee farmers and has 614 cooperative members. Despite political and economic instability, the co-op grew throughout the 1990s and in 1999 became certified by Fair Trade Labeling Organizations International. After intense rainfall on September 20, 2011, the hillside next to the coop’s warehouse collapsed, destroying its facility and nearby homes, killing 12 people. John Cossette of Royal Coffee, Inc. observes, “…the cooperative purchased the land and built the structures from the ground up. In one fell swoop…they lost everything.”
CLE Brews partnered with Café Femenino, a 501(c)3 organization, to ensure that all proceeds from the event benefit the ASOBAGRI relief effort. The Cafe Femenino Foundation works in coffee origin countries to build sustainable communities by empowering women-owned coffee farms. More information about Café Femenino is available at www.coffeecan.org.
The workshops on Saturday, May 12, 2012 begin at 1pm and include hands-on one-on-one classes on milk texturing and latte art pouring; coffee tastings with professional baristas; and free-time making espresso-based drinks using machines manufactured by Nuova Simonelli, the official sponsor of the 2012 United States Barista Championship. Contestants and spectators attending the Latte Art Throwdown beginning at 4pm will receive giveaways fit for coffee geeks. The grand prize for the winner of the competition is a Nuova Simonelli Musica commercial-grade espresso machine and automatic entry into Coffee Fest Seattle’s Latte Art Competition. Our host, David Heilbrunn, coming to us directly from Coffee Fest, joins judges Cara Lageson, Community Manager for Cleveland’s chapter of Yelp.com; Danielle DeBoe, owner of Room Service; and Chef Jonathon Sawyer, owner of The Greenhouse Tavern; for a fun and exciting night of coffee and camaraderie. All winning lattes will be auctioned off to cheering baristas, spectators, and coffee enthusiasts.
Registrations may be purchased online at clebrews.org. Latte art workshops are $20, competitor entry fee is $10 and spectator tickets are $5. Spectator and competitor tickets include a beer ticket.
Additional sponsors for the event include Optiem, Instantwhip Foods of Akron, Jakprints, Bonbon Cafe Distallata, Whole Foods Market and the Chagrin Falls Popcorn Shop.