If you consider yourself a “coffee addict” – as a big part of today’s population does – or if you simply like to enjoy the beneficial effects (not to mention the taste!) of a hot cup of coffee from time to time, you are definitely familiar with the newest trend in this area. In fact, there can be no person who goes to a coffee house regularly to not have observed the real wonder in which a normal cup of coffee can be transformed.
However, the word “newest” in this context is not the most accurate one, since Coffee Art has existed since as early as the 1980s. But it is only in the last decade when the practice of “drawing” different images on prepared coffees was elevated to the status of art. Furthermore, it may come as a surprise to some of you that there are even world championships in which many talented baristas compete for the title of world’s best coffee artist.
From romantic hearts to dragons, bears, kittens, turtles and even to characters from the Star Wars series, these gifted persons can draw almost everything on your cup of coffee. But how did all these started? When did a simple cup of coffee stop being just that and became the object of an innovative artistic field? Well, the exact moment or person to have done that is impossible to state particularly because evidences show that this practice began in different parts of the world around the same period of time: the end of the 20th century.
But first, let us see exactly what coffee art refers to. To put it briefly, the drawings are most commonly realized with the help of microfoam (which is basically a type of foamed milk that does not have those large bubbles that you usually see in a cappuccino, for example). Thus, the regular coffee becomes a café latte, or shortly, a latte. This is why the art is also known as Latte Art. Returning to its history, it is believed that the Italian Luigi Lupi was the one to initiate this practice and to share his experience with other now famous baristas.
In the USA, Latte Art was popularized by David Schomer, the owner of a famous coffee shop in Seattle, who stated that his intention was to bring the making of a café espresso among other culinary arts, in order to increase the benefits that a person can get by simply ordering a coffee. He is also the one to promote the now popular heart and rosette patterns and he even holds classes for persons from all around the globe who want to learn his secrets.
In the end, even though we do not have enough information on who was the first person to paint something on their coffee, nothing should stop us from appreciating these talented persons who do their best to bring a smile on our faces even before we get to enjoy the delicious taste of coffee.