By Alex Korhely-Day
A heart, rosetta and tulip are all simple yet complex examples of latte art that one can receive in a cup of coffee from Lift Coffee Roasters in Riverside, Calif.
As if a correctly brewed cup of coffee was not enough for the average fiend, baristas are now becoming quite artsy with the designs they are able to make with the foam on the top of the latte.
Geoff Gouveia, manager of Lift Coffee Roasters and California Baptist University alumni, explained that latte art is not just about making a good cup of coffee anymore, but is an art form especially for coffee fanatics.
“It is all about a good shot of espresso, crema and how you steam the milk,” Gouveia said. “If you can see a defined design within the foam on the latte, you know it is a good cup of coffee and will taste good.”
While most people think creating latte art is complex, Gouveia explained that once you get the hang of it, it is actually a simple process.
At Lift, baristas practice with roughly 100 lattes before they perfect each design and move on to a more intricate and difficult one.
Gouveia explained that the hardest part of creating latte art is the timing. If anything is off, it will show up in the cup and in the design. The barista must be cautious of the temperature of the milk, the pull when creating the design and the espresso made in order to create a successful design.
Tyler Jones, senior marketing major, taught himself the newfound art of latte art through the use of YouTube and personal experience.
“My favorite part about latte art is that it just compliments the fine beverage you are about to enjoy,” Jones said. “But a handcrafted latte with a design on the top makes it special and shows that the barista who created it put in the extra effort, time and a part of themselves to let you know that they created that drink special.”
While latte art is individually made, it has become popular enough for competition among baristas and coffee shops accross the country.
“There are latte art throw-downs,”Gouveia said. “Specialty coffee shops compete amongs one another for designs and also, we do. Sometimes we will have a customer judge to see who made the better design or we battle it out to see who is going to take out the trash at night.”
Though it is a simple cup of coffee, latte art has become a high-profile art form that is becoming more popular cup by cup.