Sunday Morning Coffee Art

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For a little off-line design inspiration, I thought it would be nice to get away from the computer and look at some coffee art. I saw a billboard ad recently which featured an image with two cups of latte with designs on top. They were (I’m assuming) photoshopped. However, when I went online to have a look, I was pleasantly surprised to find there are lots of people making art both with coffee as a medium and also people making designs on their lattes. There are even competitions going on to showcase this art form.

Latte art is created when steamed milk is poured into an expresso shot and a contrasting pattern or design is formed on the surface. The design created most frequently is a flower shape known as a rosetta. Other popular designs are hearts, animals and crossed hatch patterns. For more complicated latte designs, some barista etch a pattern using a coffee stirrer.

Some coffee drinkers argue that too much emphasis is placed on the design, leaving an unpalatable cup of coffee behind. Form follows function?

Here’s some examples of some beautiful latte art. (Note: The links are back to the photographers, not the barista.)

cat

Cat by Bun Buku

tulip

Tulip Design by Perrys

pirate

Pirate by Chris Blakely

matchalatte

A green matcha latte by mountainhiker

heart

Heart by Tonx

MoonAndStar

Moon and Star by Springleap

doraemon

Doraemon by Yoshiko

sunface

Sunface by Gilfer

If you’d like to make your own, WikiHow has a great tutorial on how to make your own latte art, including tips and warnings (don’t burn yourself!).

Painting With Coffee

Just Coffee Art

Andrew Saur and Angel Sarkela-Saur create paintings using coffee as their medium, and paint with it as water colour. The work is finished with an acrylic sealant.

CoffeeArt

CoffeeArt2

Another artist working in this medium is Karen Eland who produces beautiful paintings with expresso.

kareneland

And finally, last month in Australia a huge portrait of the Mona Lisa was created using 3,604 cups of coffee and 564 pints of milk for coloring.

monalisa2

monalisa1

What do you think about coffee art? Inspiring or a waste of a good stimulant?

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  • Random genius

    COOL! I was curious about the process of creating these, so I found this on YouTube. Reminds me of the shamrocks that Irish bartenders incorporate into the foam of a Guinness on tap.

    I think it’s great when anyone takes this kind of pride in their work, but you can go too far. Best to do this quickly and get the product to the customer.

  • ejrodgers

    I find the whole idea of coffee art fascinating, ever since watching a barrista I know draw faces in the coffee. There’s a really good article at Web Design Depot with 50 awesome designs http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2009/07/50-beautifully-delicious-coffee-designs/

  • http://www.heyraena.com raena

    Jina Bolton (who also happens to be one of our talented authors) has started a blog, Art In My Coffee, with some cool examples. There are even a couple from SitePoint HQ there! :D

  • Jahangir

    I like them. I have also posted about this beautiful coffee design art on my blog. You can read it here http://blog.webmastersgossip.com/2009/09/50-beautiful-creative-coffee-designs/

  • Paul Annesley

    My coffee #1493 at SitePoint/99designs HQ* — a slightly lopsided rosetta.

    * estimate; 1~3 per day.

  • http://www.laughingliondesign.net Jennifer Farley

    Hi guys, thanks for the links.

    Raena, I hadn’t seen Jill’s blog before, great stuff.

    Paul that is a very impressive rosetta!

  • Anonymous

    its nice

  • http://www.thinknice.com/ Think Nice

    All of these coffee art concepts are amazing. But, the Mona Lisa made out of coffee cups is truly incredible. There’s another cool coffee art post here…
    http://www.thinknice.com/coffee-art-incredible-barista-works-of-art/