It was impossible, really, for a night with a moniker of finale attached to it to be anything other than epic.
Not epic because there were cameos of people from within coffee -respected and revered- for multiple artistic reasons, but because people from shops within all points on the L.A. compass, showed up for what coffee inspires:
culture and community.
The event this time, was the finals of a yearlong run of Thursday Night Throwdowns hosted by Jonathan Lewd, on behalf of the Los Angeles area and sponsored by dozens of coffee companies and shops combined.
This night, it didn’t feel like those of us in attendance were what any of us might be recognized as, outside of host space, Café Dulce’s Pop Up Shop. This night, be us blogger, community enthusiast, fashionista, roaster, USBC contender, shop purveyor, latte art champ or coffee veteran, what the descriptor appropriate to bind us all was, crafter. Crafter: an individual with artistic proficiency. This night, within the sub-culture of coffee, crafters were impassioned; darn it emblazoned, no, dag gone it, enflamed, by the pursuit of art in its highest free form, self expression.
The art of the crafter is what kept us huddled over one another; raising smart phones to feed our instagram, grouping fingers over our mouths at impeccable milk driven pours, catching the evening drizzle with the crowd and filling our stomachs with full moon shaped tacos of fillings fit for foodies.
A winner and his runner-ups were named; John Martin (Intelligentsia), runner up Christopher “Nicely” Abel (Handsome Coffee Roasters) and third, Eugene (Cafe Dulce Pop). However, let it be documented that we, the community, in our individual way, were also #winning. Long live us, the crafters.
And now for your audio pleasure, a short playlist from the night.