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Insight Coffee Brings On the Competition (and fun) with Third Thursday Throwdowns

third thursday

Beginning this Thursday, Insight Coffee will continue their endeavor to highlight the craft of coffee by hosting Third Thursday Throwdowns, a once-monthly opportunity for Sacramento’s coffee community to compete in coffee tournaments that go beyond just a fight to the finish.

The inaugural Third Thursday Throwdown, which will take place July 17 at Insight’s 10th St. Capitol Cafe location, will kick off with a latte art competition. This first competition will intentionally serve as an extension of the city’s recent 4-month long latte art competition, SPLAT, whose exciting monthly contests ended in June.

The idea behind the throwdowns encompass more than just latte art, though, as the focus, according to Matt Gale, Communication Director for Insight Coffee, will be on a letting local coffee professionals take the lead on what they want to do.

“The goal is to celebrate the Sacramento coffee community…and to offer an opportunity for professionals to have fun with coffee, improve their skills, and be excited about their craft.”

Latte art was chosen as the focus of the first competition because of its ability to visually showcase the skill of coffee professionals, but Insight plans to explore a variety of coffee-centric contests. Competitions could revolve around tasting contests that use an Aeropress, French press, Chemex, or Hario v60. Their throwdowns may even see a “sprodown” (espresso throwdown) or a mixologist-style coffee creation competition.

“Really, we’re open to everything—whatever our community is most excited about is where we’re going to focus,” said Gale. “But the goal is to learn and grow and to try new and different things. And to drive the character and quality of Sacramento’s coffee.”

Among the judges for this Thursday’s throwdown is the acclaimed Tony Serrano, featured in the Barista and Imbibe magazines, and a former MC and Judge for the US Barista Championship. He’s a “big fixture” in the Northern California coffee world, Gale said.

It’s only fitting for Sacramento to see a growing interest in artisan coffee tournaments since it has a celebrated coffee scene with a growing number of professionals perfecting their craft in specialty shops around town. Our city even recently gained the attention of Sprudge as a being in the one of 5 underrated coffee cities in the US.

“We have this amazing coffee community that keeps growing and blossoming,” said Gale. “People in Sacramento have learned to really appreciate coffee and we’ve developed exceptional coffee culture in this town to rival pretty much any city in the US.”

The enthusiasm displayed in the recent latte art competitions are a reflection of that exceptional coffee culture. Gale describes the tournaments as a ton of fun and lit with air of amazingly high pressure as coffee professionals steady their hands and impress with their ability to produce under pressing conditions. We anticipate to see the same in any of the variety of competitions at Third Thursday Throwdowns, but we’re also reminded by Gale that this is first and foremost about having fun.

“This whole thing is [about saying] ‘let’s just take a moment to have a great time and compete, but mostly let’s just all get together and relax and have fun doing what we love.’”

The first Third Thursday Throwdown will take place on Thursday from 6-9pm at Insight Capitol Cafe, 1014 10th St. No cost to attend. Coffee professionals wishing to compete can register at www.eventbrite.com. Spots are limited. For more information, visit www.insightcoffee.com.

About the author

Bethany Harris

Bethany joined Sacramento Press in 2013 and enjoys writing articles that uncover the happenings of the city and the people behind the stories who make them so worth telling. A native of Sacramento, she also loves photography, running, gardening, coffee, and discovering new places and new things to do--both in the city and throughout California.

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