It may not be as well know as Seattle, but I think Milwaukee is definitely a coffee city, or at least has enough coffee snobs living in it to support our many local roasters and cafes. Lauren and I both work for Colectivo (formerly Alterra) so we know a thing or two about barista life and the many opportunities and events provided for the coffee lovers of Milwaukee.
I recently attended (and participated due to peer-pressure) a throwdown hosted by Stone Creek Coffee Roasters. For anyone who is unaware, a “throwdown” is a friendly competition where two baristas battle it out for the most impressive latte art. The two designs are poured and presented to the judges who vote for the best cup, typically defined by visual aesthetics, degree of difficulty, color infusion, and definition. The competition is whittled down to the final two, leaving the winner who gets the pot (a $5 entry fee is charged for each barista participant).
Needless to say, the night was a roaring success with laughter abound and PBR cans littering the bar, in true Milwaukee style. Suck on that Seattle.