COFFEE is a vital part of any newsroom.
You will be hard pressed to find many journalists separate from their coffee mug or takeaway cup.
It is with great excitement that our newsroom learnt that latte art is now on the menu at this weekend's 2017 Eat the Street food festival.
Creating the most impressive caffeinated masterpiece is not a skill to be underestimated and you can see your favourite local coffee maker compete for the inaugural Latte Art Champion title and $1000.
OneOne4 owner Gera Davidson and Republic of Coffee owner Nick Muller have come together with Lismore City Council in an effort to promote and bring together the wonderful coffee resources in the area.
"Eat the Street is a really good platform to do something like this and hopefully we can expand it into other areas down the track," Mr Muller said.
"In this whole region there are a lot of good coffee roasters and baristas.
"We are aiming for about 30 competitors."
Co-organisor OneOne4 owner Gera Davidson is no stranger to coffee art after having been placed in numerous titles in Queensland.
"There is stress involved and you want to do well," Mr Davidson said.
"It is not easy but that is part of the fun.
"Mostly with those competitions you are really competing against yourself and what you can do.
"A lot of the competitors can do great things but doing it under the pressure is what the real test is.
"It is fun to see what they come up with and the different techniques they use."
Mr Davidson said it was all about meeting people who are passionate about coffee.
The Latte Art Smackdown is a knock-out competition with two baristas going head to head in each round to create the best latte art.
They have only one attempt to pour their design and a panel of judges will pick their favourite pour.
The winner advances until only one barista remains.
"Nick Muller from the Republic of Coffee came up with the idea and we immediately loved it," City Centre Manager Jason Mumford said.
"Lismore is developing a really strong coffee culture and we have some exceptional cafes in our CBD.
"Latte art has become quite popular and it's pretty fascinating... the things people can create are extraordinary.
"There are quite a few baristas locally who are doing some amazing stuff and the baristas who are doing it are incredibly passionate about their art. It's a great addition to Eat the Street."
The popular Eat the Street food festival is this Saturday, March 11 from 12pm-8pm in Lismore's Magellan Street, and the Latte Art Smackdown will start at 3pm at the Republic of Coffee.
Entry to the Latte Art Smackdown is $15 and contestants must be on site at Republic of Coffee by 2.45pm.
The 2017 Eat the Street food festival will feature more than 50 food vendors offering delicious tasting plates plus live music from local acts including the Bella Fontes and The Button Collective, shows by the The Pitts family circus and a Macadamia Castle petting zoo for kids.
The Cooking Stage will feature celebrity chefs including Katrina Kanetani from Town Bangalow and Steven Snow from Fins sharing recipes close to their heart, while Northern Rivers food producers will be selling a range of delicious locally made food products.
For more information, visit www.cometotheheart.com.au
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