Bull Run Coffee hosts latte art throwdown

Bull Run Coffee's new shop at 3346 Lyndale Avenue S. has already been open one month and will be celebrating with a grand opening party and latte art "throwdown" this Thursday.

The shop will be hosting a special guest, coffee-geek guru Michael Phillips, the reigning World Barista Champion who recently left his position as Director of Coffee Education at Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea.

Here's what else is brewing:

There will be a social hour with Phillips at 8 p.m. with the "throwdown" starting at 10. Each barista--contestants can still register at the event--tosses in $5 for the round-robin latte art competition, with the money pot and bragging rights going to the evening's winner.

Latte art, the Bull Run folks explain, is evaluated by its degree of difficulty (size and number of designs), symmetry, contrast (how much the design "pops" from the coffee), and overall aesthetic. Fortunately for amateur competitors, Phillips will be judging and not competing because, he has said, "my skills aren't what they used to be to win a throwdown."

Also, if you're wondering why the competition is being held so late it's because that's when baristas are off work. And if you're worried about drinking so much caffeine at 10 p.m., Bull Run will have some Fulton and PBR on hand to counteract its affects.

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