Aaron Dongsu Shin wins Veneziano Smackdown

On 27 October, we hosted our first Latte Art Smackdown at our new River St roastery in Richmond.

Our customers, the industry and coffee enthusiasts alike came together to celebrate the new Veneziano brand and packaging the best way we know how – with espresso martinis, delicious street food and latte art smackdowns.

32 baristas went head to head in the classic style smackdown, each trying to win the judges over with a heart, tulip, rosetta, swan or a creative free-pour design of their own.

Aaron Dongsu Shin of Short Black Cafe took home the crown ($1,000 cheque from Pura Milk) continuing his winning streak after taking first place at the 2017 ASCA Southern Region Latte Art Championship. Teddy Shim of A Thousand Blessings placed second, Joel Tan of Cote Terra placed third, and Joel Irwin of Alimentari placed fourth.

“Tonight was a great opportunity to celebrate Veneziano’s recent rebranding, but also to unite the coffee community in our new River Street premises,” says Veneziano’s Craig Dickson. “We haven’t held a smackdown since we farewelled our First Pour site, so we’re thrilled to have hosted such a vibrant event that’s attracted incredible talent.”

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making the night possible, Pura Milk, Cafetto, Pullman and Silverchef. It was an ode to our history, but more importantly a celebration of how far we’ve come and the exciting future ahead of us.