Latte art at its best!

When we think of art, we usually imagine artists using canvases and brushes for creating a piece of work that can be seen in galleries and exhibitions for decades, perhaps centuries. But could a creative image drawn on your coffee be a masterpiece too?

Rosetta motif on a latte

Latte art is getting more and more popular... (Photo: / sanso kim)

When looking at some of the most brilliant pieces of latte art, you may wonder: who would work so much on making something so beautiful when it's gone so soon? But on the other hand, having a cup of coffee with a magnificent drawing on it, clearly cheers up the person who received it. And, after all, starting the day with a luxurious and beautiful cup of coffee can absolutely have a positive effect on one's mood.

The key to great latte art - beside creativity and preciseness - is good quality espresso, steamed milk and the crema, which is basically a golden brown or dark tan, foamy layer on top of the coffee. One of the most important conditions of making great latte art is the quality of the milk foam used for the actual drawing phase - it has to be homogeneous, and must flow easily. Latte art can either be made by using the etching or the free pouring technique.

Geometric and non-figurative motifs have always been popular for their elegance, and because they are really spectacular. Another great thing about geometric patterns is that they are appreciated by almost everyone, contrary to the figurative patterns, which are more specialized and usually represent one particular theme or "fandom".

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Figurative motifs, on the other hand, can make the coffee especially personal - for example, as an animal lover, you can have a cute kitten or a graceful swan on your coffee, while movie fans can have a character's image or a symbol on their latte. These motifs are usually the most admired of all, because they really look like a drawing or painting floating on the top of your coffee.

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Some baristas don't stop at tan and white foam paintings... The use of food coloring in the case of both figurative and geometric motifs can add a pinch of luxury and elegance to the latte, thus make the beverage even more spectacular. The popularity of 3D latte art is also on the rise, and for a reason: who would not love chubby little foam animals with cute paws and faces floating on their coffee...?

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Anita Diós

July 2018