When: Fri., Feb. 20, 7-9 p.m. 2015
Calling all ace baristas: On Friday, the Berkeley coffee shop Local 123 (2049 San Pablo Ave.) is hosting a latte art “throwdown.” According to owner Frieda Hoffman, latte art masters who sign up will be judged on the aesthetics, difficulty, symmetry, and originality of their steamed-milk creations, as they vie for an array of prizes — cash money, as well as coffee-related swag. To add another wrinkle to the contest, competitors are also welcome to bring their own unconventional “cups.” (Hoffman said she has seen baristas pour lattes into everything from beer boots to seashells.) While there’s a $10 buy-in for competitors (signups start at 6:30 p.m.), the event is free to the general public, and the gorgeous coffee drinks that each competitor pours will be up for grabs for audience members to taste. The event also promises a DJ on hand, and beer, wine, and bar snacks available for purchase.