It struck me this week, that I was having a very Vancouver conversation. I was in a coffee bar in Kitsilano, talking with a couple who are fairly new to Vancouver. The conversation came round to coffee. Here we were comparing notes on the quality of the coffee we were drinking, and swapping tales of good and bad coffee we’ve found.
I could not have imagined a few years ago that I would even know what latte art was. In case you don’t know, it is something to see. The barista draws in your coffee by carefully pouring the milk into the coffee. It is magical to see the design appearing with a few flicks of a practiced wrist.
I personally recommend going to caffe artigiano and watching them pour your coffee. It is quite the production line there and they make it look easy.
One barista pours the shots of coffee into your cup. The coffee itself must have a creamy top on it (called a crema) as the backdrop for the design.
Someone else steams the milk. This too has to be just right – a light foam, with no large bubbles. Finally the latte artist, pours the steamed milk into the coffee. This is the artistic bit because as they pour it they waggle (technical term) the milk around in some mystic way that ends up with a design appearing in the coffee. This is usually a leaf, or heart, but I have seen some really weird designs too.
You may not think that coffee is a big reason for considering coming to Vancouver, but when you’ve been here a while you may find it hard to imagine what life was like without a good cup of coffee – with or without the art. Now where shall I go for my next fix?
And for those who want to make their own latte art, have a look at the wonderful coffee geek site for guidance.