Even though people rarely take time to stop and smell the coffee, some baristas are bringing back an appreciation for the art of coffee though latte art. Latte art describes designs made in coffee with steamed milk. These pictures or 3-D sculptures can be freely poured, drawn into the espresso, or sculpted. The invention of the espresso machine allowed baristas to add foamed milk to coffee and create beautiful patterns in the process. Popular designs include hearts, swirls, and cats. Latte art takes your espresso experience to the next level—just don’t expect this kind of artistry from your local Starbucks.
The Barista Guild of America advertises regional and national Latte Art Competitions. But, latte art isn’t just for the pros. Latte Art Guide, a website entirely dedicated to the pursuit of coffee art, makes this edible art form accessible to novices and baristas alike. There are plenty of latte art video tutorials to help aspiring baristas perfect artistic skill. The website also helps coffee lovers choose the best espresso machine and prepare specialty brews.
Even if coffee is not you beverage of choice, latte art can also decorate hot chocolate and tea lattes, as long as they have a frothy-milk top. Matcha, or powdered green tea, lattes are the most common tea latte to include latte art. Some versions of latte art incorporate “toppings,” such as chocolate shavings or caramel sauce. Either way you spin it, latte art is just one more reason to get your caffeine fix.