Latte Art…the unfortunate ( but cool) distraction.

In the weeks after winning the Late Art comp in Vegas I have been thinking about latte arts place in our industry. Certainly I am pigeon holed as a latte artist, by my own doing I might add, but I am inclined to think of myself as a barista first and latte artist as a bi-product. I remember when the guys at Cafe Artigiano were winning the Millrock Comp. and actually stepped away in order to shift the public’s focus on them from latte art to the entire craft of coffee. Sammy is one of the best Latte Artists in the world yet what he was aware of , and what I believe every barista out there needs to be aware of…is that latte art can be a HUGE distraction.

You get praise from almost everyone around you even if you are just moderately “ok” at it.  No criticism = no growth.  It is much harder to make an outstanding shot than it is to impress your customer with a leaf.  You can get a big head and concerning your skills make much ado about nothing. Where latte art in the hands of someone who has a healthy respect for both their integrity and their ability to violate their integrity will never allow Latte Art to be anything more in their  mind than an enhancement to the beverage…not the point of the beverage.

When you earn a customers respect and praise  through TASTE…not ART …then you are starting to achieve something.


3 thoughts on “Latte Art…the unfortunate ( but cool) distraction.

  1. I have never really let it become much of a distraction, I don’t think. Integrity doesn’t come from praise or criticism from others. It comes from the barista himself (herself?).

    It’s either about the coffee or it’s not worth it. Good post.

  2. I agree. Integrity is an internal compass of professionalism. One that can easily be strengthened or damaged by outside influence.
    You and I, as trainers, can use latte art as a soap box to talk about the more important things.
    Keep rockin it in Texas.

  3. Chris…very well said.
    I appreciate the fact that you strive to keep the art piece in perspective…quality first then enhance with beauty. They both have a place, but quality is clearly the foundation for everything else.

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