The idea behind the TNT is simple; basically gather baristi on a Thursday night, and throw milk in coffee. Best thrower wins. Good mate Reggie Elliot in Gothenburg, who when living and working in DC, worked at Café Murky with David Flynn, one of the brains behind the Frog Fight in Paris. Reggie moved to Gothenburg, and made the Thursday Night Throwdown something very succesful, pretty much like the Frog Fight in Paris. If you ask me, the secret behind the success was actually the lack of a proper scene, but a hunger for getting together with other people in the industry.
When living in Perth, the idea of these nights came about when I was in a group trying to get the Western Australian Barista Championships going in 2010. And so they did, even though I personally only got to attend the very first (and very successful event at Elixir in Nedlands). What happens when you have pizza, beer, coffee, milk, an espresso machine and lots of coffee people in a room? It’s probably the oldest question in the coffee movement, and the answer is a no brainer.
Later in 2010, I had moved to Stockholm, and found that there was a lack of community. It seemed as if there had once been one, but not anymore. At the same time, Cymon Reid at Kura felt the same thing, and we did a cupping together in order to try the new Da Matteo roast of the Nekisse. Lots of baristi showed up, for coffee, beers and the following outing at the now legendary Tiki Room. Since then, I’ve had an idea of the necessity of community, one that has been successful at times and ignored at other times.
The launching of the TNT STHLM idea was something that developed from Reggies idea, as well as in Malmö at the same time. We’ve had TNT’s at Kura, Esaias before the Barista Championships in Stockholm, Drop Coffice and now at Café Pause in order to get a regional top three for the National competition held in two weeks! We also did some non-coffee gatherings such as the Bad Boy Billiards, and the Bad Boy Boule nights, where industry people have been drinking heavily around another kind of activity.
The latest TNT at Café Pause was a huge success, most people within the industry came to throw down some milk (and Achi, owner of Pause as well as the Chairman of the SCAE in Sweden, had invited Reggie Elliot to host it!) and/or watch the vibe!
What I like about the format, specifically, is that we can do local themes together with sponsors or hosts (we’ve done cuppings and try outs of pour overs etc.), but also focusing on something that we are very ambivalent to; the latte art. Jesse Raubs recent blogpost on milk is encouraging in the sense that we should not ignore the fact that latte art is something interesting and fun, but shouldn’t be all of your focus in coffee. How perfect then to make this the focus of a non prestigious “comp” on friendly terms.
I’d like in the future to focus more on this format, and I think the recent SCAE idea of using the TNT format for its regional competition, is showing the value of it!! You can follow future events at the TNT STHLM Tumblr!
NP: AC/DC TNT