Best of Vilnius Coffee Festival: Lion King Latte Art and 8/8 Cup Tastings
Vilnius Coffee Festival was a long weekend packed with way too many cups of coffee, loads of cuppings, many good conversations about good coffee, new innovative machines and of course the excitement of Lithuanian Barista, Cup Tasting and Latte Art Championships! It was my first time in Vilnius Coffee Festival and my expectations were high but even still I was pleasantly surprised!
I heard that the festival had been organized past two years in a shopping mall but for this year they moved to LOFTAS which is an old factory/warehouse building with really rustic feeling. So, a pretty much perfect site for this hip(ster) event! The festival was divided into two floors; first floor for competitions and bar with coffee cocktails, second floor for roasters village, cupping room and lecture room.
The bar on these competitions were set high and there were so many impressive presentations in Barista Championships, perfect rounds in Cup Tasting and innovative patterns in Latte Art Championships.
1. Mindaugas Ryškus
2. Andželika Jokubauskaitė
3. Dominykas Baronas
In Barista Championships there were so many impressive presentations that I can imagine that the judges’ decision wasn’t easy. Not to forget that the taste is the number one factor deciding the winner. There were quite a few interesting signature drink ideas such as burning some wood to have smoke flavour in the glass, putting smoke inside of an ice ball and frothing the espresso in a siphon to name a few.
1. Tomas Meckovskij
2. Ieva Malijauskaitė
3. Domas Ivonis
Cup tasting was probably the competition were the bar was set highest! In the first round there were four who had perfect rounds (8/8) and to get to semi-finals you had to have 7/8 right and in even then time was the deciding factor. In the semi-finals and finals there was maybe a bit more difficult sets but still the competitors were able to get right 6/8 or something like that. Impressive!
Latte Art Championships
1. Ieva Meiliūnaitė
2. Eleonora Zanevičienė
3. Tomas Meckovskij
Double swans, colourful fish and a LION KING! Many innovative pours and etchings. Ieva Meiliūnaitė was the champion in 2017 as well so she renewed her title. Her lion king pattern was the most impressive pour I’ve seen in a while so I’d imagine her doing well also in the World Championships.
There was a cupping room in the festival where different cuppings were held every other hour. The cuppings had one origin country (Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia to name a few) presented and the coffees were from different areas and with different processing methods and varieties. There you could really notice that even coffees from same country but different variety can be so much different! Mine and Mihkel’s favourite was Ethiopian cupping where two honey processed coffees really stood out with their yammy flavours. Only bummer was that we missed Myanmar cupping which would have been really interesting as coffees from Myanmar are really rare.
There were also other activities in the festival such as cheese and coffee pairings, coffee cocktails, lectures on coffee, Ethiopian coffee ceremonies and you could even get a haircut if you wanted. It was also nice for a machine geek like me to test all new espresso machines such as La Marzocco Leva and Modbar. La Marzocco Leva is probably the most exciting new machine in the market with its pressure profiling but holy cow it was complicated to use!
All in all, the festival was really well organized and I hope I’m able to visit it again next year! Btw, there's lots of Insta stories from the event in our account @baristainstitute - go and have a look :)
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