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Miami’s best baristas went head to head to make the most beautiful lattes in the city

The A+E District’s Vice City Bean hosted Miami’s first ever Thursday Night Throwdown. It’s a latte art competition that takes place in cities all over the country, from Austin to Atlanta.

With Vice City Bean, Panther Coffee, Threefold Cafe, and a whole bunch of new coffee shops on the horizon, Miami’s coffee scene is seriously stepping it up.

“The fact that we could host a Thursday Night Throwdown means that Miami’s coffee culture is on the rise,” said Roland Baker, the owner of Vice City Bean.

Here’s how it works:

Local baristas sign up and throw $5 in a pot. They each go head to head in pairs, like a football bracket, until they’re all whittled down to a final round. Three judges decide on the winners of each round with a very official finger point.

The last three baristas standing then have a chance to show off their finest skills. The winner takes the whole pot. At the inaugural Thursday Night Showdown, Alex Bistritz, a barista at Sunset Harbor Panther Coffee, took the grand prize of $100. But second and third place got t-shirts, mugs, and coffee bags as prizes too.

More than 20 baristas signed up and the coffee shop was packed with java junkies imbibing PBRs and free lattes for all. They have to do something with all that coffee, after all.