ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Baristas from around the area came together for a ‘Latte Art Throw Down’ hosted by Union Place Coffee Roasters on Thursday. 

The healthy competition gives coffee lovers a chance to show off their skills while supporting a good cause.

Brewmaster Jasmine Cee said it’s a way for coffee lovers to come together in comradery and gracious professionalism.

“It’s an elimination round style event. You have to compete, try to do the nicest art that you can, something that is unique and symmetrical,” Cee explained.

Three coffee connoisseurs from around the area will be judging two lattes against one another based on five levels of criteria. They then will pick a winner based on the point of a finger.

“Whoever gets the most points, that is who will win that round, and then you’ll move on, and it’ll just keep going until there are two last competitors,” Cee said. “We all want to help each other out. We all want to have fun. That’s the kind of environment that we’re trying to create here. It is a competition, of course, you want to win, but that’s not what it’s about.”

Union Place Coffee Roasters Owner Laurie Disprospero says all proceeds of Thursday’s event including the $5 barista entry fee and sales from raffle tickets will go to support the local charity, Saving AJ.

“Saving AJ is a Crisis Nursery in the city of Rochester, where they help moms and kids get back on their feet if they need an emergency place,” Diprospero said.

Diprospero said she was touched by the work Saving AJ does in the community and was honored to help out in this way, all while highlighting the coffee community in Rochester. Plus, at the end of it all, the winner gets to walk away with their very own espresso machine donated by the local coffee supplier, Whole Latte Love.

“Coffee people want to support charities in the city and Rochester is a great place to do it. We have a great coffee community here,” Diprospero said.

The competition is open to the public and kicks off Thursday at 6 p.m. at Union Place Coffee Roasters located at the Genesee Regional Market. 

In addition to donations from the Latte Art Throw Down event, Blue Toad Hard Cider will also be donating a dollar a pint to the cause from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday.