There’s something special about coffee art

I was flipping through some photos on my phone and found this from a couple of weeks ago:

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I took it one Saturday night at Insomnia Coffee Co while out writing with my friend Kelly. Instantly I thought of my friend Bri who is a barista in New York City now while working on her Masters. She’s been posting pictures of her progressing coffee art talents and it’s been fun watching her slightly swirled attempts to master the cream leaf. She’s pretty dang good at it now.

Every time I see her posts, though, I have to laugh a little. I have a feeling coffee art is what has spurred the novice food photographer more than anything else. Not everyone is going to be impressed with your kale salad or perfectly seared tuna. But everyone can appreciate the skill it takes to create an aesthetically pleasing picture in coffee foam or milk. It’s interesting and no two are ever the same. And while some of it can be done as competition between baristas, it always seems to be done to spread a little joy amongst customers, which is kind of neat considering the crazy world we live in.

I have no idea how anyone does these little masterpieces. I barely have a steady enough hand to frost cakes and holiday cookies, let alone swirl liquids to create a picture. So bravo to you, coffee Picassos and Monets. Keep filling our Instagrams and Twitters with your art. It may only last through our first sips, but it stays with us all day.

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