Daily Paris: The rabid hipster coffee mouth froth comp

What do latte-loving hipsters and rabid dogs have in common?

They both love a good froth at the mouth…which is what was celebrated Monday night at the annual Paris Frog Fight.

Today’s Paris baristas have so developed their skills, they can not only pour coffee, but draw a crowd doing so.

And those assembled here were – literally – the crème de la crème…

The premise was simple: two barristas face off per round, each having to free pour milk into a pretty design on the top of the coffee.

At one point, a barrista so energetically slammed the grinder that the tournament trophy fell onto the bench, shattering into several morsels. And it wasn’t the only thing going to pieces: the intensity of the competition quickly proving that while you can’t cry over spilt milk, crying over poured milk is entirely different.

Each round one out of two hipster barristas was eliminated. And while there could only be one winner there were plenty of draws – mainly of tulips, smiley faces and hearts/testicles (depending on which way you looked at the cup).

The losers meanwhile were confined to the crowd: Paris’ new renta-hipsters who frequent every new café/hotel/skateboard film-related event, and offer their support, mainly because support is always free to offer.

Parisian hipsters, having missed hipsterism’s first-wave of ironically fun clothing, content themselves to variations of the art school drop-out look, with black drop-crotch pants, and sack-like t-shirts, paired with winter’s ubiquitous saggy beanie.

Yet despite the public rarely being well turned out, the events themselves often turn out well, this one especially for the venue at newly opened Steel Cycle Wear and Coffee Shop.

Steel is but the latest cool cafe in the 11th, an arrondissement which, thanks to its unique blend of being up a hill, poorly served by public transport, and frequented by just enough dodgy people, remains just enough off track to be the place to be.

And while this event was frothy by Paris hipster standard, the competition was not all hot air. To decide the finalists, each had to sit on a bike and pedal while pouring the coffee into a pretty shape.

Fashion may come in cycles, but coffee in Paris is definitely the new short black.

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