The art of microfoam has risen to new heights. A few sites like ilovecoffee and java aficionado are posting pictures of dimensional cats and bears floating on the surface of your morning cappuccino looking as cute as can be. I have trouble with a simple swirl so I’m in awe of the masterful baristas who define gravity to create a 3-D foam.
Italian baristas – how about a microfoam Tower of Pisa? Now that would be an exceptional cup.
Latte art from Murky Coffee in Washington DC
Pouring latte art is as much an art as a science. Drawing a pattern of steamed milk on a fluid surface demands a steady hand, a vision and the proper foam. Microfoam is the medium of the latte artist and must be of the proper consistency. The physics of the foam is crucial. Latte artists seek to create a properly balanced foam, not too dry, not too wet. The ideal being a heavier, wetter foam controlling the amount of air so that the “bubbles” are not too large. To pour latte art, the milk should be shiny, slightly thick and have very small, uniform bubbles.
David Schomer from Seattle’s Espresso Vivace is a master of the microfoam describing it as “white chrome”. Here are some samples of his work and other latte artists whose canvas is a cup.