Latte Smackdown to raise awareness for disability

Swans, ferns, hearts, and other latte art are the latest ways baristas are raising awareness for epilepsy.

Harrison Hedges, the owner of Whatcha Brewing Specialty Coffee, is looking to raise awareness in the form of a Latte Art Smackdown; a competition that tests baristas' skills in drawing images using steamed milk.

The Smackdown will be taking 12 contestants with and without disabilities to see who can create the best latte art.

Their lattes will be judged by Barista Champion Tilly Sproule, and Epilepsy Queensland CEO Chris Dougherty, on the art's pattern, consistency, and pour.

First place prize is a Tim Adams Speciality Coffee masterclass valued at $250

Partnering with Epilepsy Queensland's Purple Day, Mr. Hedges wants to raise funds and awareness for those with epilepsy.

"This is a way to include people that have a slower pace.

"It's giving back to a community that normally wouldn't get a chance. It's my chance to have a say in the industry," he said.

Mr. Hedges has been in the coffee industry for the last 11 years; taking on Whatcha Brewing at Big Top Maroochydore in May 2020.

Having lived with epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and autism, he is passionate about helping people find meaningful work.

"People with epilepsy are often misrepresented and not given an opportunity to work," he said.

In September last year, Mr. Hedges raised over $2,000 through a similar event in gold coin donations, selling coffees and from their coffee supplier, Tim Adams.

He has a goal of raising $3,000 from the event, as well as committing to donate $1 from every coffee sold on the following day.

The Smackdown will be held at Whatcha Brewing on March 25 at 6.00pm.

Registrations are $25 per person, $5 of each registration will be given to Epilepsy Queensland with spectators welcomed and encouraged to wear purple in support.

For those wanting to compete in the Latte Smackdown can apply by contacting Mr. Hedges via email at harrison@whatchabrewing.com.


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