Latte Art Throwdown

Barbershop Barista Battle! by Steve Willingham

Barbershop Barista Battle

Friday night, we had a blast heading over to Capital City Barbershop for a little friendly competition. Our own Tanner Ruminer stepped up to run this latte art competition under his Bygone Coffee catering brand. The turnout was fantastic, especially when you consider that this event was taking place outside of the traditional coffee shop setting.

We want to give a big thank you to Jake over at Capital City for hosting and to Tanner for organizing. And a shout out to Devin Parham on taking home the W.

It's amazing to see the Oklahoma City coffee community branch out and seek new venues for our events. Where will the next one be?

And with no further ado, pictures!

Hearts for Hurricane Relief Latte Art Throwdown by Caleb Savage

Last night, members of the Oklahoma coffee community came together for “Hearts for Hurricane Relief,” a Latte Art Throwdown presented by Green Country Throwdowns and Elemental Coffee to aid relief efforts in response to Hurricane Harvey.  

Caleb, Tanner, Callie, and Steve all participated, but the competition was fierce. Ultimately Ben from Topeca Coffee took home the gold. Congratulations, Ben!

Tanner Ruminer Latte Art Throwdown.jpg

Tanner Ruminer

Representing Clarity Coffee

Callie Palmer Latte Art Throwdown.jpg

Callie Palmer

Representing Clarity Coffee

Caleb Savage Latte Art Throwdown.jpg

Caleb Savage

Representing Clarity Coffee

What is a Latte Art Throwdown?

n a typical throwdown (aka pour down or latte art slam), baristas buy-in to enter the competition and the winner walks away with bragging rights and everyone else’s money. In last night’s event, all proceeds were donated to One America Appeal, “a joint appeal by all five living former American Presidents to encourage their fellow citizens to support recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey.”

These events are a popular way for baristas all over the world to get together and show off one of the most easily recognizable skills in the coffee trade, latte art. While the rules change from event to event, typically two competitors face off by steaming and pouring a randomly selected basic latte design: a heart, tulip, or rosetta, into a randomly selected cup size: macchiato, cappuccino, or latte. Throwdowns are almost always an exciting and fun event for all and are a great chance for coffee fans, regulars, and friends to hang out and support your favorite barista! Generally, throwdowns are a lighthearted way for baristas to compete with each other and just hang out with friends, as compared to other more serious coffee events like the US or World Barista, Brewers, or Roasters Championships. We held a latte art throwdown last year. You can find a little recap of our event here.

Elemental Coffee Latte Art Throwdown.jpg

About One America Appeal

While initiated in response to Hurricane Harvey through the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation in Houston, the One America Appeal has been expanded to include those affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. From the appeal, “All donations made today will go to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida. In Texas, monies will go to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund focusing on the greater Houston region, and the Rebuild Texas Fund assisting communities across the state. In Florida, monies will go to the Florida Disaster Fund, which is the state’s official private fund to assist the state’s communities as they respond to and recover from destructive storms. We are actively exploring similar arrangements for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

We were thrilled to be able to sponsor the event with prizes for the winner, and we’re thankful for all of our friends who helped make this event happen! Shout outs: Oklahoma Shirt Company, Green Country Throwdowns, Anthem Brewing Company, District House, KLLR Coffee, DNA Designs, Saint Anthony Industries, Barista Magazine, Handground and Chemex Coffeemaker.

Barista Guild of OKC by Paul Zimmerman

We've got some super exciting news that isn't necessarily Clarity Coffee specific but affects the coffee community of Oklahoma City at large! Barista guilds in cities across america serve as hubs of education and culture for coffee lovers. These organizations let coffee professionals and hobbyists organize for events, training, resources, and outreach. 

It's wildly exciting that Oklahoma City has formed it's own Barista Guild. We've seen such a huge renaissance of arts and culture here in OKC and we're stoked to be taking part. The Barista Guild of OKC will consist of baristas from some of OKC's finest coffee shops:

Aspen Coffee
Cafe Evoke
Clarity Coffee
Coffee Slingers Roasters
Elemental Coffee Roasters
Gray Owl Coffee
Syrup Breakfast
and others!

Oklahoma City has so many amazing coffee companies and people. In the next year, as a guild, they'll be focussing on a few things. 


We'll be hosting monthly latte art competitions at different shops across the metro. The first of which took place in January at Clarity. These "Thursday Night Throwdowns" are a chance for baristas to show off their skills and for the coffee community to come together and have a party. Join us to meet some new friends, drink some local beer, and cheer for you favorite barista. The guild has thrown two successful TNT's so far this year and are stoked to continue the party at Cafe Evoke, this Saturday!


The Guild will be printing resources for making better coffee, both for home brewers and professional baristas. These resources will be cheap or free as our goal is to improve the quality of coffee in our city as widely as possible. 


The Barista Guild of OKC will partner with local non-profits, such as The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools to benefit and support our community with fundraiser events and volunteer hours. The coffee community is dedicated to serving our city and the guild will open opportunities for us to organize and be effective at serving and loving our neighbors in OKC. 

We'll keep you posted with progress and are super stoked to be a sponsor of the Barista Guild of OKC. 

In the meantime, check out the facebook page and see what the coffee people in your neighborhood are talking about. 


Recap of the January #TNTOKC Latte Art Competition by Steve Willingham

Friends, food, beer, lattes, and steamy windows make for a great Thursday night in Downtown OKC. And what a great turnout we had for the Latte Art Competition last week! Here's a little recap if you couldn't make it out or have already forgotten how much fun you had. 

  • $150 Cash Pot
  • 120 Attendees
  • 59 Lattes Poured
  • 30 Competitors
  • 5 Rounds
  • 3 Judges
  • 1 Winner

Judges' Table: 

  • Steve - Reigning Champ from the Evoke Pourdown
  • Rachel - Roaster from Elemental Coffee
  • Colin - Chef from Nonesuch

The finalists were Karli from O Bar and Trent from Elemental. Trent took home the trophy, all the cash, some coffee from Monroe Coffee Roasters, and bragging rights for the rest of the month. As reigning champ, he will be on the judges' panel for the next competition. As runner up, Karli also took home a bag of coffee, a stack of free drinks from local coffee shops, and a tamper handmade by Jeff Sapp of Okluma.

Thanks to everyone who came out, competed, and contributed to the good times.
Special thanks to:

Check out the photos and video shot by our friends at Atria Creative