Coffee has been around for ages with its popularity increasing amongst its consumers worldwide. Brunei is no exception to the delicious coffee crazes as more cafes begun sprouting all over the Sultanate, becoming a common sight to the population here. Along with these shops, it is not a wonder that latte art grew as well. But first, what is latte art anyways?

Delving into the art’s history, it was presumably originated from Italy decades ago. It then started to gain popularity in the United States when David Schomer introduced the ‘latte art’, creating the forefront of the 80’s coffee culture. His first heart shape was brought onto the cup in 1989, while the rosetta, a leaf, was crafted in 1992. The surge in popularity led him to create art courses, called ‘cafe latte art’.

Broadly speaking, latte art is a combination of mixing coffee and drawing. The coffee makers used steamed milk as its ink, creating a specific pattern onto the coffee as it micro foams upwards. These designs includes a plethora of tulip and heart renditions while a master at the craft is able to make animal shapes like bear, swan and plenty others.

For starters, there are two ways of creating a drawing in coffee – free pouring and etching. In free pouring, the design is created by pouring milk from a specific height while moving the pitcher to mix the milk and crema. In etching, as its name suggests, an etching pen is used to sculpt patterns directly onto the coffee; this is where more intricate designs arise from.

Amongst baristas, they will often prove their skills in a competition where the winner is determined by the best creation of latter art. They are called Latte Art Championship in smaller regions while the grander version is called the World Latte Art Championship. The contest aims to find the best designs between the competitors.

For Brunei, the coffee latte art is still in its infancy stage. However, taking into account the growing numbers of café, we can expect the rise of Bruneians eager to learn the crafts for coffee art. Who knows, there could be a possible chance for a local representative for the World Latte Art Championship in the future.

Social media can be regarded as one of the main causes for latte art’s rising popularity. Being picture worthy and showcasing mesmerizing designs, latte arts are king in the social media world. This crafted a worldwide phenomenon where customers and baristas began showing off their creation online, helping to boost coffee appreciation amongst the people. Nonetheless, the latte art boom is an interesting topic to converse on and sparking creativities which could lead to various new drawings or patterns.

One can only describe as much through words on the craft of latte art. We have to say, a live performance of this art would be even more enjoyable. So, head down to your local cafes and pay close attention to the people behind the counters. You could be witnessing an artist in action.

Some of the designs in Latte Art. Photo: Sutera/Amir Hazwan

You can find over five million posts on beautiful designs of latte art by following the #latteart on social media.