Interview with 2012 World Latte Art Champion from Russia Viktoriya Kashirceva


So the 2012 World Latte Art Championship is over and all contestants are back home with joy and happiness. This competition is not only bringing professional baristi together in competing for the best latte art but unite them and build friendship. Latte art is truly amazing and is appreciated among the specialty coffee professionals and people who enjoy having their cappuccinos, lattes or macchiatos with truly, perfectly design patterns. And of course the espresso extraction and crema on top of properly pulled shot along with perfectly textured milk has a lot to do in achieving the ultimate design. Crema is one of the many joys of an espresso. It lends both an appealing texture and an appealing look to the drink. Milk plays very important role for creating outstanding latte art, and as we all know milk is comprised of proteins, fats, and sugars and the milk proteins are the agents for foaming. When your milk is textured perfectly and has smooth, velvety look you are 100% sure you can nail your art.

I have asked several participants of WLAC 2012 that took place in Seoul, Korea to answer some questions about themselves including coffee related questions. Our World Latte Art Champion Viki back in Moscow, Russia. I was able to chat with her today through facebook. It was night time in Moscow while morning here in the United States. Viktoriya was sitting at home and gradually started to realize that she is in fact 2012 World Latte Art Champion and she got very excited, not only by the idea that she won the title but she became the youngest contestant to win this World title. And she is getting ready that at some point she will be called to attend various coffee events around the world and she just need to put a lot of efforts in getting proficient in English which is her next priority. Viktoriya is employed by coffee shop “Bulka” in Moscow but she is on vacation from the beggining of November.

Mikhail Sebastian: What did attract you and still attracting you to be in coffee business? How did you start?

Viktoriya Kashirceva: I love coffee! I like to draw on the coffee! I am attracted to latte-art! Starting from steaming milk and ending up with the design. I became interested in latte-art 2 years ago.  I just wanted to be able to draw cool stuff on coffee.

Mikhail Sebastian: What attribute do you appreciate the most in espresso? What does espresso crema means to you?

Viktoriya Kashirceva: Creama is the heart of espresso! It is the whole essence of espresso, all the flavor and taste! All!!

Mikhail Sebastian: What brewing method do you prefer best and why?

Viktoriya Kashirceva: I love Chemex. In my opinion this is the best way to get coffee clean, soft with rich body.

Mikhail Sebastian: What is the main concept for latte art and why latte art is so important?

Viktoriya Kashirceva: Latte art provides impact on the final taste of cappuccino and other milk based beverages. Wrong image pattern can spoil the taste of the drink. Also, any man would prefer to have a nice cappuccino or latte with perfectly designed latte art.

Mikhail Sebastian: What the best achievement the specialty coffee has made in the Russian market?

Viktoriya Kashirceva: The coffee culture in Russia improves every year! We have more exhibitions dedicated to specialty coffee. That includes workshops, training, and classes held by world barista champions!

Mikhail Sebastian: How do you feel being a part of WLAC 2012 in Korea? How long it took you to be proficient in latte art?

Viktoriya Kashirceva: It took me 2 years to become proficient in latte art and as much as I enjoy latte art I was competing in the Russian Latte Art Championship in 2011 and finished third. But even then I knew I would not settle for that. So in 2012 I decided to participate again and I won. And after that, you know, I became the contestant of 2012 World Latte Art Championship in Korea.

Mikhail Sebastian: What coffee roast do you prefer, light, medium or dark, and why?

Viktoriya Kashirceva: I do not care much about it, it can be light, medium or dark. The taste of the finished product is what important to me.

Mikhail Sebastian: How do you achieve the perfect milk texture needed for creating the best possible latte art?

Viktoriya Kashirceva: The milk is ideal factor for latte art. The moment you submerged the steam wand into the pitcher you create a creamy dense consistent body texture needed for perfect latte art. Do not try to move the steam wand around once the milk rolling.  Also milk should have a sufficient quantity of foam. Simple physics.

Mikhail Sebastian: What is your secret or techniques in getting the best latte art?

Viktoriya Kashirceva: There are no secrets! There is a desire to win!  All or nothing.

Mikhail Sebastian: How do you feel to be 2012 World Latte Art Champion? What is your plan for the future?

Viktoriya Kashirceva: I still can not believe I won. I’m in shock. I cannot predict the future but I hope to share my experience with baristi around the world. I would like to attend more training, workshops, and of course to continue making coffee for guests.

Mikhail Sebastian: Did you expect at some point to be at the finalist and eventually win the title of 2012 World Latte Art Champion?

Viktoriya Kashirceva: Reaching the finals and the ultimate victory was very unexpected. At one point I stopped to believe that I will be able to win, but thanks to my friends who supported me in Seoul, I was able to declare my victory. I am still shocked.

Mikhail Sebastian: Do you think you continue in coffee industry after winning the World title?

Viktoriya Kashirceva: Of course. I am not going to settle with just latte art.

Mikhail Sebastian: Do you plan to participate in World Barista Championship?

Viktoriya Kashirceva: Yes, but not in 2013. I am not ready yet.

Congratulations Viktoriya once again. Thank you very much and good luck in the future. I wish you all the best, and hope all your dreams come true.

Watch Viktoriya’s performance at WLAC 2012 in Seoul, Korea here

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