All about Latte Art
Contributor: JH Yee
I.M. … a crazy barista.
A new coffee place makes its way into our neighborhood at Solaris Dutamas called Espresso Lab. What’s different about this cozy little nook is that instead of only selling coffees, they teach you how to appreciate them, from roasting, making all the different types of coffees, tasting and even latte art.
The people behind Espresso Lab wants to bring up really good baristas so that more people are able to enjoy good coffees wherever they are. With their passion behind coffee, they understand that baristas in Malaysia sometimes hit a barrier and remain stagnant at their job, he wants to be able to share more information with more baristas so that people can enjoy good coffee at any local cafés around them. We at I.M. also took the opportunity to speak to one of the barista who trains people at Espresso Lab.
How did you actually learn to do coffee art?
I actually joined Café Departure Lounge (in Solaris) in 2009. The owner, Mr Loo taught me some basic latte art like heart shape and rosetta, a fern leaf shape. I do research on youtube. You can look for a lot of different latte arts on youtube. And every time I have a chance at the café to do coffee and then at night I’ll research on youtube.
What’s the easiest coffee art design?
The heart shape.
What is the most complicated?
Heart shape, rosetta and tulip, combining all of them into a cup.
So, what if someone wants to do home coffee-art, what are the tools you require?
Coffee art starts from latte which is espresso based with milk. The art is milk-formed. It’s hard to do it at home if you don’t have a good espresso machine. The art won’t be so beautiful. But if you want to try it out. You can add in some colour using chocolate powder. You can buy a French press, a coffee brewing device, put milk in it to make some foam. Another thing you need is a milk pitcher with a spout to create latte art. The coffee machine creates a good shot and milk foam.
How long did it take you to master coffee art?
About half a year. Since I work every day, I get to practice making coffee art everyday as well.
Where do you get new ideas and inspirations for latte art?
I give a chance to customers to challenge me and tell me what art they would like. So I would try to achieve that design.
As a barista, do you feel inspired to always come up with new designs?
Not really. I rather choose to perfect every single art than too many. Because coffee is liquid, you can’t control it. Every cup is different. I would rather try to perfect that same art in every cup than to try different designs all the time.
For a person to do latte art, does he or she have to be interested in design?
No not necessary. Actually, I don’t know how to draw. I’m not very good in design or new ideas but you can still do latte art.