27 January 2015

Coffee Art

I love coffee. I usually go around town to visit cafes that interest me, and to find out where good coffee is served. But my interest in coffee doesn't end there. Actually, it went up a level higher recently.

I was always fascinated with the latte art whenever I order a cup of cappuccino in a stand alone coffee shop. So, I started to learn how to do it. I tried watching videos and read instructions so I could do it myself. My problem is that the microfoam needed for the proper way of doing latte art is not possible with the machine that I was using. I thought of giving up on it and just enroll myself to a class, but then, after a few adjustments, and several trial and error, I was able to get a milk consistency that is closer to the velvety microfoam that I need.

I probably have too much caffeine in my system now because the minimum two cups of coffee a day became four. It was all because of the practice that I was doing. I still can't make the tulips and rosetta and stuff because my milk consistency doesn't allow me to make it. My coffee art are mostly free pour and just drawing on the foam, and I am satisfied with it. At least for the time being. It's still kinda frustrating that I can't make the latte art that I want though.

Well, after getting a better milk foam consistency, I realized a new problem. I need to improve the way I pour the milk as well. From the videos I watched, there were quite a few ways of doing it, and to be honest, I have not tried it. So right now, whenever I try to make something, it's sometimes good, and most of the times not. Which is fine, because I have not properly studied the professional way of doing latte art. I am thankful that I have an artistic side to me to make up for it.

The best part of it is that the guests always compliments the coffee I serve them, saying how good it was or how nice the art was. I would say that I still have to improve on the ratio of coffee to milk because my cappuccino is becoming a latte since I started doing the art. I find it too milky. Perhaps the single shot espresso is not enough for me.

Besides doing latte art, I started learning various kinds of coffee drinks as well. Some guests would come to me, and order a flat white, or americano, or cafe au lait, and I would be like, 'how is that made?'. The machines that we use are calibrated to make lungo, espresso, cappuccino, and macchiato. And since it is a machine, there were still quirks on it which I am very familiar to by now. I am probably the only one who knows of it though.

Anyway, to be able to make a coffee drink that the guest actually wanted to have, I started doing research on various kinds of coffee drinks. There were a lot for both black coffee drinks, and coffee and milk drinks. The thing is they were all similar, just varying in the coffee to water or milk ratio, and the serving sizes. I like to drink coffee but actually doing the coffee drink is pretty tedious. Man, I wanted to try working in an actual coffee shop just so I could improve my knowledge and skills in this particular field.

By the way, I always take photos, whether failed or successful, whenever I try to do latte art, and post it on Instagram with the hashtag: #lisamakescoffee. Below are photos of my work. I'm sorry for being such an amateur. c '-_-)

Tried doing a 3D version but it failed.

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