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History of Latte Art or Decorated Cappuccino

Thousands and thousands of photographs that flood social networks daily teach us the incredible creativity and technical capacity of baristas reflected in latte art, but do you know why it is called that way and what is its origin?

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History of Latte Art

Unlike many other inventions, culinary or not, we cannot mention a single name as the creator of latte art. This is a shared story, which begins thanks to Luigi Lupi and David Schomer in the 1980s.

Lupi of Italian origin, began to develop his technique in latte art thanks to his master barista from Verona, Piero Merlo, who showed him the bases for making cappuccinos. This motivated Lupi to initially baptize his creations as Decorated Cappuccinos.

On his side, Schomer of American origin, baptized his first creations as Latte Art, a name that finally remained for this type of artistic elaboration.

Contrary to what we might think, Lupi and Schomer who met at the end of the 90s thanks to some Latte Art videos that each one did on their own improving their technique day by day, more interested in being able to better develop their technique and without No interest in discussing who was the forerunner or creator of latte art, they exchanged, to our great luck, audiovisual material to improve each one their technique.

Latte Art today

To this day, latte art has surpassed the barrier of figures that were obtained through free pouring, such as hearts, tulips, among others, so that in some coffee shops we can even find drawings of anime or super characters. heroes, or even colored latte art drinks.

There has been such a stir and the impact that latte art has generated that we can even find world championships where works on coffee are seen that a couple of decades ago we would never have thought about thanks to the “Etching method”. This method consists of making drawings on the surface of the coffee, pouring various syrups or with the help of special instruments, mainly the barista pencil.

One of the latest evolutions took place in 2013 when a Japanese barista surprised everyone with his foam-based 3D figures, in which we can find different animals represented, such as pandas, giraffes, cats, etc.

So that it can be considered an excellent latte, and therefore figures can be made in the foam, it is also necessary to have certain technical knowledge that only a qualified barista can have, such as controlling the temperature of the milk before steaming it, the own temperature, the angle that the cup and the milk should have when it is poured, and of course a good basic coffee.

The controversy

However, every invention is not without controversy and latte art could not be less. The point is that many experts criticize this technique because according to them, the appeal of the cup is limited exclusively to the aesthetics of the design and not to the quality of the coffee itself. On the other hand, the defenders of this technique, argue that the food before being ingested, must first be admired by all the senses ... We believe that the ideal would be a balance between both, but always giving priority to the quality of the raw material.

So if you are a latte art lover and you consider that you have enough patience and desire to learn, sign up for a workshop, encourage yourself to explore your creativity and surprise all of yours when you invite them to have a coffee at home :)

To give you an idea, if you are in Madrid (Spain), the Spanish Coffee Institute offers an intensive 8-hour day course, in which they assure that with the Latte art course, you will learn to properly emulsify milk, to After being able to create drawings on the espresso, you will be able not only to draw but to prepare the perfect cappuccino. For more information, visit their website

We leave you the following video developed by YOU'RE GORGEOUS in which we are shown various designs that we can find when we order a latte art, using, as mentioned above, the etching method with the barista pencil. There is no doubt that depending on the experience of the barista, we can speak of authentic works of art !!


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