A rich, decadent concoction in the right measure, the perfect cup of coffee is like a warm hug on a cold day. For many of us it is not just coffee, it is a state of mind! Coffee with swirls and patterns made with froth on the top is becoming a skill and trend among baristas all over. As we know in every type of food, presentation is inseparable from substance. Why should it be anything different for coffee – a beverage that keeps us going?
Coffee geek lore has it that latte art started in the mid-eighties by Espresso Vivace’s David Schomer. Around the same time, a gentleman named Luigi Lupi was doing it in Italy. Baristas today are competing head-to-head in this competition as they display their artistry. They are trying to create everything from classic designs like smiles to tougher ones like a phoenix or sunrise.
Be it the classic heart or delicate fern designs, latte art is enough to perk anyone up and give them a mental pick-me-up. Employing mediums of milk and espresso to form, this aesthetic value is unmistakable when done right! The styles of latte art like free pouring and etching need to be understood closely. When properly prepared, the top of the mixture is so smooth that it actually shines. Getting these drinkable designs right is a matter of striking balance, symmetry, presentation and originality in the art.
Things may start out puffy in the beginning, but practise alone can help you master it. The knowledgeable sessions at ICCA taught by Sam Tan Sze Yuin who is an ‘International Barista Champion’, will help you with understanding everything from texturing to the foaming stage right! So embrace the stunning presentation possibilities of the latte art. As you promote respect for coffee as a culinary art, get a treasured reaction from your guests which will be enough to brighten up your day!