In Mellower Coffee, you can feel that it’s the festive season.
Fresh off the China Latte Art Competition, where Li Qi has crowned champion. She will be representing China in the World Latte Art Championship in 2016. We paid a visit to the coffeeshop she works in, Mellower Coffee in Shanghai, to see her shop, and the way she practices.
Mellower has different zoning in its shop. L-shape bar, espresso machine on a side, drip station and ice brew on another. The training centre and roasting machine occupy another 2 corners.
Featuring transparent glass panels, the different zones show lots of characters on their own. The open space makes the shop a very comfortable place to stay in.
Apart from classic coffees in Mellower, they do have a seasonal menu. For example, there is a “Snowy Christmas” for fall 2015 that caught our eye.
Using local fresh chestnuts, match with espresso and milk, this specialty drink was a seller the past season.
Mellower also has scheduled latte art, hand brew and cupping classes for the general public. Now it’s a chance to learn from the Champ of the country.
Mellower uses Custom made Loveramics Egg series. Black with gold logo. Subtle and elegant. We can say the reason it produces 2 champions the past 2 years, is to pour in our cups everyday.
Mellower has produced 2 latte art champions the past 2 years. The quality of latte art within the shop is very advanced. Still, to see them live was an amazing experience. Stable hands, beautiful artwork, and of course, the coffee was great itself.
Apart from being a famous latte artist, Mellower’s baristas are still full of passion and gain lots of respect within the city.
The most memorable experience, was the service from the shop. Everybody seems to be happy and attentive. The white bar is always clean. Customers were taken care of immediately, and the baristas will not be shy in suggesting what to drink.
Interview with Li Qi:
These are the 3 pours she did in the CLAC.
Q: Why are you in this competition:
A: First I like Latte Art, and I am a Leo, I like to use Latte Art to represent myself. Luckily I was top 3 latte artists within Mellower and were supported to participate in the competition. I would like to thank the company for this great journey.
Q: There are so many great artists in the world, how did you win this?
A: Even I was crowned first, I still don’t think I am the best. I think what I did was being innovative in my art. I used 2 months to prepare, and practice for the competition. I spent lots of time researching the beans and milk, seeing whats the best way to combine them both.
I am grateful to have a company that supports me, and my mentor who taught me the experience in the competition.
Q: What it takes to be a good barista?
A: Service is the most important. Even with the same coffee, passions from different baristas create a different experience. I like to be a passionate, friendly barista with strong attention to detail.
Q: You suggest the baristas out there to compete?
A: Yes definitely. I learnt a lot from this competition, and I really treasure and enjoy this opportunity. I believe everyone could use this step to improve themselves.
Q: So it’s the World Latte Art Championship next year, and its home court for you, whats your feeling?
A: Its lucky to compete at home. I am going to really spend my next few months to prepare for the world competition. To express in English freely is my challenge, but I am ready, and I want to go for the champ.
I am grately to have something I would go after fully, and I am blessed to have this opportunity.
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HK$ 90-109/set of cup and saucer