Last night we drove past the corner of 6th and Christian and saw something awesome: a Shot Tower Coffee party spilling out into the streets. Turns out the party was a barista latte art competition, or (for those in the biz) Thursday Night Throwdown. (Watch latte art king Rancilio Silvia here to understand what we’re talking about.) TNT is the brainchild of Octane Coffee and Counter Culture Coffee that started in Atlanta, Georgia. Those who know coffee (most of them were there last night) know Counter Culture roasts some of the best (you can currently find them at Spruce Street Espresso, Ultimo Coffee and Lovers & Madmen). Shot Tower is also a fan of Counter Culture, even though they serve Stumptown Coffee, and is one of the few coffee houses in the region that really knows coffee, so much so that they splurged for the ridiculously fine-tuned Strata espresso machine from La Marzocca, a machine that some of the polished barista competitors even had a hard time figuring out. Last night’s latte art competition was amazing; the whole space (and what a cool one it is) was full of people (DJs, baristas, coffee aficionados and photographers) drinking beer, noshing on veggie pizza and clapping and hooting for each round’s winner. Competitors paid $5 to compete and ranged in experience from seriously knowledgeable to just-having-fun. We don’t know where the next TNT will be, but we’ll definitely be keeping it on our radar from now on.