Latte art: how London baristas make your coffee more Instagrammable

Klaudia Balogh

With the London Coffee Festival in full swing this weekend and the UK Coffee Week to follow next week, the spotlight is on your daily java. The time when coffee was just a morning sip is long gone and an artistic brewing culture is here to stay.

When ordering your latte at a café, it’s not just about the taste, but the foamy picture on top. Within seconds, baristas can create all kinds of art just simply by pouring milk. Just search #latteart on Instagram to see the mindblowing variety for yourself - you'll find everything from flowers to hearts and animals.

“You’ll be amazed at how many different patterns and designs you can create,” Luke Shilling, barista artist and trainer, told me at a workshop at London Grind's HQ this week.

Shilling has made more than one million cups of coffee over the course of his 15-year-long career as a barista.

He says the booming culture of cafés is something he doesn’t see slowing down anytime soon. “It’s become part of our social life, and has a much bigger role than ever before,” he said.

We love it, and social media does too. How many times have you visited a café after seeing how pretty their latte was on Instagram?

However, creating latte art requires practice, and lots of it. Shilling says it could take hundreds of thousands of cups until you develop the right technique and muscle memory to pour the perfect image.

Feeling creative? Watch the video above to see how you can learn how to create your own latte art. And remember, persistence is the key.

Klaudia Balogh is a freelance