You have probably noticed the pretty, fern-like design that adorns the froth of your cup of coffee sometimes. This design is The Rosetta – a skill in latte art that sets a benchmark in a barista’s ability to create an image on the top of a coffee.

Last week, to raise some funds for the tsunami and earthquake stricken Japanese, Market Lane Coffee set Melbourne’s top baristas against each other in Rosettas for Relief. Market Lane’s sense of generosity and kindness flows through everything they do, and Wednesday night was an example of this. One of their star baristas, Japanese-born Toshiuki Ishiwata, took to the compassionate eye of his employer. Moved by Japan’s plight, Market Lane put Melbourne’s combined barista talent under the community spotlight and set about raising a sizable contribution.

On Wednesday night a crowd of some 300 coffee lovers packed into the cafe at Prahran Market to watch Melbourne’s best baristas pour their way to glory. There were 32 competitors from cafes all over Melbourne, and each competitor had one pour in a round-robin throw down. Competition was fierce and competitors were knockout by a cheer from the crowd.

Matthew Perger, the current Australian Barista Champion took the title out with a performance as steely and unnerved as only a true champion can deliver. Remy Shpayzer of Eclipse Espresso Bar came in a close second.

The night was compered by three-time Australian Barista Champion David Makin, amidst the flow of Stone&Wood beer and Calendar Cheese. The night’s donations and fundraising totaled a respectable $4500, though the contributions didn’t stop there. Market Lane also opened its doors for Cup of Relief two days earlier where $2300 was raised for the Japanese relief fund through Cup of Relief, a total of funds raised from the two events of $6800.