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Latte Art: The Coffee Trend We Didn’t Know We Needed

A long time ago, in a land far, far away…

Well, not really. It was in the 80s in Seattle, WA. 

Although lattes were invented in Italy during the early 1900s, David Schomer popularized creating latte art in 1989. Owner of Schomer’s Espresso Vivace, David has been credited with developing the rosette and heart patterns that we know and love today.

Through the chemistry of milk foam and the perfect espresso comes beautiful designs that are almost too pretty to drink. You can make milk foam in two different ways. You know that strange nozzle that’s on an espresso machine in your favorite coffee shop? That’s where you create milk foam! The hot steam creates bubbles in the milk causing it to become frothy and luscious. The other method is agitation which is similar to that of making whipped cream except it's done when the milk is cold.

There are different ways to create latte art: free pouring and etching. When free pouring, a barista is creating a design with the crema in the pitcher and moving their hands. “Etching is where you use a tool or stick to pull the crema and foam forming an image after the milk has been poured.”

Since its inception, you can walk into hundreds of different coffee shops and find countless ways to make beautiful art. We’ve seen hearts, flowers, animals, characters, and more! Adding social media to the mix expands our knowledge about latte art. You might see a cool design at a coffee shop on social media and make a pit-stop there the next time you're in that city or you just might realize that the coolest latte art is right in your neighborhood.

Each day, there are new advances in the world of latte art and would you believe it if we told you there are latte art competitions?! This ever-changing craft is keeping baristas on their toes and coffee lovers ready for more.

I guess we can end it with this: Thanks, David. We owe you BIG TIME!