The Speciality Coffee Association of Europe is to bring its latte art and "Coffee in Good Spirits" contests to the Caffè Culture show in May.
This will be a new feature of the annual exhibition and will be a series of contests showcasing how beverages can be made more appealing to consumers (and more profitable to operators).
In the Caffè Culture contest, it will also be permitted to "draw" a design - this is commonly done using a point of some kind, etching a design in something like a chocolate sauce.
The Coffee In Good Spirits contest is for the creation of cocktails combining coffee and alcohol, which is not allowed in many coffee contests. The competitors must create two sets of drinks for the judges - an Irish coffee, and a cocktail of the entrant's own devising.
For the Irish coffee, the rules do not actually stipulate Irish whiskey, although this is preferred - in international contests, it is accepted that this may not be available in some countries, and that Scotch or something similar may have to be used.
There is also the World Cup Tasting competition, which is an extremely useful skill for caterers with ambitions to create distinctive coffee menus. This contest helps develop beverage sensory skills, and requires entrants to identify the odd one out in eight sets of three cups of filter coffee.
The show is at Olympia, on 21-22 May. It is possible to enter online at www.caffeculture.com
By Ian Boughton