Things have been a bit up in the air recently which has served as a distraction from beginning my preparation for Copenhagen. I won’t bore you with what the things were, but I’ll ask you a quick question instead.  

I saw some pics recently of David Makin (a lovely chap) winning a competition in Australia and was very impressed with the art he managed in his capps.  I was bothered by my drop in quality on the day for the irish and think now that my capps are my weakest area.  

This is a picture of a rosetta poured recently in the 5 oz cappuccino cups I used in the Irish and will be using in the Worlds. Theres things I like and don’t like about the pour, but I’d love some feedback from any competitors and judges out there. 

For competition, what score would you give this cappuccino on visual appearance?
1) 0
2) 1
3) 2
4) 3
5) 4
6) 5
7) 6

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14 thoughts on “Beginning

  1. Hard to tell without looking really close at the foam but i’d say most judges would score that a 4 – 5 (very good to excellent), probably a 4.5 I guess.

  2. I think most judges (for some odd reason) have a very difficult time giving maximum scores (6). But this is an excellent pour. Those small cups are hard to do, and often people try to do too many leaves, leaving no space between them, and the result is they sort of just mix together. This one had beatiful, clear contrast, it’s very symmestrical (the top could be a bit more even, though) and it’s technically more challenging than the heart – especially in those small cups. So I’d be at a 5,5 I think. But yeah, hard to tell from a photo.

  3. It’d rate a 5 in Australia.

    Colour is excellent, unbroken around the rim and nice balance of art (though it does not influence the score) The coffee looks a bit gassy – fresh? picture is a bit hard to tell.

    There was a pour last year on your Flickr which was perfect – a 6. One of my favourite photos of all time.

    Also – David only won his Regional Heat – the State champs for Victoria. The Aussie final is the same week as the USBC – may 3-4th.


  4. Klaus, that’s why we need more people like you judging: “technically more challenging.”

    I’m noticing more and more the disparity between judges and competitors. The judges need to learn to reward technical excellence. Don’t you think that judges too harshly penalize “crema bubbling” in the brown part of cappuccino?

    To me, that’s a 4.5 (I voted 5 though). I’d want to see the art fill the cup better, with the brown crema ring being more clearly defined as a ring than the brown-space behind the rosetta.

  5. I think its a lovely pour! There is good symetry though just a little off at the top (and little on left side). The contrast of white and brown is pretty sharp. It looks to me like there might be a little dribble off the edge. It’s well positioned in the cup and spacial fits the surface area.

    I would give it a 5 or 5.5… I think that some people judge “visual” appearance a little too harshly. Taking a good close look is important, but the judgment is important on the spot. The longer you look at it the uglier it will get.

  6. I concur.

    If you dropped that on my table, I would score that a 5 without hesitation. The solid ring, combined with near-perfect color contrast and evenness throughout the rosetta. Nice work.

  7. I think the art is beautiful, although it does look like there may be a few crema bubbles bursting, and a dribble from pouring and a coffee spot on the side of the cup.

    The contrast and definition in the art are fantastic

  8. Great pour, ticks what most of us would consider important boxes.. but can anyone (JAMES?!) enlighten us as to what does make a really good pour.. at WBC level. And can you show us a pic? Please?

  9. This gets to the heart of why I would be a terrible judge. While other folks are oohing and aahing and scratching their chins as they contemplate the score they should award it, I’d snatch it from the table and drink it.

    It looks delicious, but you never know until you taste it.

  10. Decadmus, I really like that comment 🙂
    T A S T E it. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover!
    Well, I agree with you Nick that the ‘crema break-down’ as we call it (where the brown part ruins the milk foam and causes bubbles) is sometimes judged too harshly. We’re actually doing a lot of experimentation right now to try and isolate what factors are causing this (That’d be a great post to read something about over on don’t you all think?!?).

  11. I think to nail 4 of those under comp pressure would be a good day at the office!
    wondefull contrast and very tight , filling the cup would have been easier.

  12. Klaus, almost by accident, during a competition training I was doing with someone, I put 4 month old coffee we had sitting around just to blow through the grinder practicing technicals. I made a cappuccino from it.

    10 minutes later, it looked practically fresh-poured. I was shocked by how good it still looked. ZERO “crema break-down.”

  13. I gave it a 5 for reasons already mentioned by others.

    The ring is there, and unbroken, but the color isn’t as consistent as I might expect, or maybe it’s just some camera trickery. (does the coffee still have its soul?)

    Slightly bubbly. Not perfect, but not far from it. Definitely a solid 5.

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