Okay, so maybe latte art has been around for some 20 years — so says Wikipedia. But it was only this week that we got a thorough introduction from barista Stacey Johnston at Peet’s on Middle Avenue and El Camino. Stacey, one of a handful of baristas at this Peet’s who has mastered the art, delighted a young customer with an adorable bunny on his mom’s latte. Next up, she created this elegant leaf.
The secret, she tells us, is all in how you pour the foam. Purists insist that pouring only is allowed, while more liberal folks like to use a utensil or other implement to etch finer details in the designs. (Stacey admits to using a straw for the bunny’s eyes.)
At our visit, we also learned that latte art is not part of the Peet’s official training program but something Stacey and other like-minded baristas enjoy doing to make their customers smile. Some regulars request a specific design, while others are pleasantly surprised when their drinks come out dressed up. Stacey’s next work of art? She’s currently perfecting a complicated dragon design (please, no requests just yet).
Want to try your hand at it? Crank up your espresso machine and check out the How to Make Latte Art tutorial on wikiHow. (For those keeping track, we previously sent you there to be schooled in the finer points of TP-ing a house.)