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Throwdown Double Down

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Throwdown Double Down

The Thursday Night Throwdown made a splashy comeback last week as Vancouver-based coffee equipment retailer Espressotec and Seattle coffee roaster Caffe D'arte hosted their fourth latte art competition at Espressotec's showroom on Clark Drive. The competition roster, which filled up within 36 hours of the event announcement on Instagram, comprised 20 of the city's most talented baristas keen on claiming the title of Latte Art Champion — and some handsome cash prizes.

This time around, the two hosts took the Throwdown up a level, in partnership with local food company and plant-based proponent Earth's Own. In addition to the main latte art competition, in which the 20 competitors used locally-sourced dairy milk provided by Choices Markets to pour their best latte art designs for evaluation by a panel of judges, a second contest took place only a few steps away. Competitors and spectators alike were challenged to demonstrate their latte art prowess using Earth's Own newly-released (and already a favourite of cafes and baristas nation-wide) Oat Barista, and post photos of their creations to Instagram for the chance to win coffee gear and oat milk to enjoy at home.

“With alternative milks gaining in popularity here in Vancouver, where specialty cafes often have two or more non-dairy options, we thought it was time to bring plant-based blends into the competition scene,” says Reg James, Espressotec owner. “And since the Earth's Own oat milk steams so smoothly, there were definitely lots of entries that rivalled those in the dairy-based throwdown.”

Fed and refreshed by gourmet appetizers by Signature Catering and craft beer from House of Funk Brewing, spectators were treated to a showcase of superlative latte artistry by plant-based Picassos and dairy DaVincis alike. Jun Min, Calvin Kuo, and Mark Coughlin placed first, second, and third in the primary throwdown, while Kosuke Uchiyama, Robert O'Sullivan, and Kunie Inaba took home prizes from Espro for their oat milk artwork.

“It was another win for the local coffee community, as well as the plant-based movement,” adds James.

About Caffe D'arte

Caffé D'arte is a locally owned coffee roasting company originally started by Mauro Cipolla after he moved to the Northwest from Italy in the 1970's. From its beginnings, Caffé D'arte (literally, The Art of Coffee) has stood for passion combined with the highest standards of quality steeped in the great Italian coffee tradition.

About Earth's Own Food Company

Based in Burnaby, B.C., Earth's Own Food Company is a pioneering food & beverage company with a bold way of thinking about how the world eats. It's on a relentless pursuit to change the world through a plant-based movement. Earth's Own oats are produced in Canada, using Canadian oats that require just rainwater and sunshine to grow. Products are Non-GMO Project Verified, Vegan, Kosher, and free-from dairy, nuts, soy and gluten. Unlike other brands, Earth's Own uses healthier sunflower oil instead of canola oil. Earth's Own Oat and Oat Barista beverages are available at grocery stores across Canada. To learn more visit

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