Enzen Liu is the winner of this year’s Almond Breeze Breezy Masters competition.
The specialist latte art event, now in its fourth year, sees baristas from across Australia and New Zealand showcase their latte art skills using Almond Breeze Barista Blend.
Enzen, Head Barista of Cuckoo Callay in Sydney battled his way through knock-out rounds in a latte art smackdown at Specialty Coffee Curators in Marrickville to secure his place in the final against Victor Vu of Bicycle Thieves Cafe in Melbourne.
Eight finalists from across Australia and New Zealand competed for this year’s top prize, with both first and second place-getters earning a trip to the United States to compete at the New York Coffee Festival in October. For the first time, Enzen and Victor will also fly the flag for Australian when they go head to head against America’s best baristas in the inaugural Almond Breeze Barista Blend World Series Coffee Smackdown.
In the final round of the Breezey Masters Final, Enzen produced a free pour seahorse and poodle design that saw him take the title.
“To win is a dream come true. I started entering coffee competitions as a great way to keep learning and meet new people. I only started competing in latte art competitions last year, so to win an event like this one is amazing,” Enzen says.
“I competed in last year’s Breeze Masters final but I didn’t win, only making it to the last three. I wanted to come back and go one step further so I trained hard throughout the year and continued practicing and watching YouTube videos to keep improving my knowledge and watching how others create latte art.
“What helped me win tonight was my technical difficulty and accuracy.”
The grand final judges agreed, including Agnieszka Rojewska. 2018 World Barista Champion; Jibbi Little, 2019 Australia Latte Art Champion; and Lucky Salvador, 2017 Breezey Masters ‘Grand Breezey Master’.
Guests to the competition on 1 October also helped celebrate the first birthday of Almond Breeze’s BaristaforBaristas.com website, created to connect people in the coffee scene and invest in the future of the industry.
To help keep the party vibes going Sydney-based DJ spun the decks, with entertainment in the form of coffee painting with Bondi-based artist Stephen Evans, and complimentary light snacks and beverages, including Almond Breeze cocktails.
As for this year’s 2019 Breezey Masters Champion Enzen, he has just a few weeks to perfect his latte art skills ahead of his first trip to the United States.
“I can’t wait. I’ve always wanted to see Times Square and the Statue of Liberty, and now I will thanks to Almond Breeze,” he says.