Glasgow Coffee Festival set to showcase home brewed talent in UK's biggest latte art showdown

Glasgow Coffee Festival 2024 organisers
Glasgow Coffee Festival 2024 organisers -Credit:Supplied

Glasgow is set to host the UK's largest ever latte art competition which will showcase some local brewed talent.

The UK Latte Art Championship will come to the city for the first time on Saturday, May 11, during Glasgow's Coffee Festival, as fourteen of Scotland's top latte art fanatics go head-to-head.

Going for gold is Kangni ‘Connie’ Dai, owner of Space Speciality Coffee House in Partick and Kafei Studio by Space in Finnieston.

The baristas who pour the perfect art could find themselves in the semi-final and final, set to take place May 27 and 29 in London, with the winner of that heading to Copenhagen to represent the UK at the World Latte Art Championships.

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Connie Dai at the SCA Championships
Connie Dai at the SCA Championships -Credit:Supplied

Connie, originally from China, fell in love with coffee while working as a barista back in 2015. Since graduating from Glasgow University in 2017, she’s competed regularly in Latte Art competitions, winning her first Latte Art throwdown at the Manchester Coffee Festival in 2017.

"I’d been watching a lot of the videos and had always wondered what it would be like to compete - and I won", she said. “I loved the feeling of competing and watching myself improve.

“In 2021, I signed up for the UK Latte Art Championship, but I didn’t get through to the semi-finals. I was gutted but the second year around I tried again and placed second in the U.K. This year, I’m hoping I’ll get to the final!”

Connie, who opened popular coffee shop Space Speciality Coffee House in 2018, said: “When I graduated, the plan was for me to go back home to China and take over my parent’s shoe factory. But I’d developed a genuine love for coffee during my time in Europe.

The Glasgow Coffee Festival
The Glasgow Coffee Festival -Credit:Supplied

“I pitched my business plan to my parents: give me half a year, and I’ll have my own successful coffee shop.

“I studied international business and entrepreneurship which gave me the skills I needed – so I set up my own coffee shop after I graduated.”

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Commenting on this year’s competition, SCA UK National Coordinator Alexx McKendry, said “We couldn’t be more excited to bring the second heat for this year’s Latte Art Championship to the Glasgow Coffee Festival.

“Within the specialty coffee community, Glasgow Coffee Festival has always had a reputation for being one of the country’s most dynamic and exciting coffee events, run by a passionate group of coffee people who always have the interests of the coffee community at the heart of what they do.”

The festival will also host the Roast Hero competition, a peer-assessed challenge that takes real-world roasting experiences and puts competitors' knowledge and skills to the test.

Inspired by the Nordic Coffee Festival and supported by Falcon, Brew It Group and Espresso Warehouse, the competition will see 10 Scottish coffee roasters bring their best to Glasgow to find out who will be the 2024 Roast Hero.

Nikki Wren, head of Espresso Warehouse, specialists in the supply of coffee shop products and equipment for cafes, restaurants, hotels and more, said: “We’re delighted to be judging and supporting the Roast Hero competition at Glasgow Coffee Festival.

“So much goes into being a world-class coffee roaster. This competition focuses on those skills, and ultimately what goes into making a brilliant brew – from sourcing to roasting itself.

“We’re excited to see these skills in action – and of course try the first-class coffees that are going for gold.”

Glasgow Coffee Festival returns to the city for its tenth year on May 11 and 12.

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