Someone said to me yesterday “you always pour the same pattern 90% of the time”. Here’s another one for ya ️ I feel compelled to make a response to this comment, as well as similar ones, which I have gotten a lot over the past few couple of years.
Latte art is important to me, but maybe not in the way that latte art means to other people. It is a stress reliever for me. When I am “crushing the rush” it is an opportunity for me to slow down, breath for a second, then continue.
Latte art will always take the least importance to me during service. It comes after warm hospitality, proper extraction, milk texture and temperature, communication with my co workers, cleanliness and bar flow.
Latte art is a way for me to connect with the guest, to make them smile perhaps and to non verbally communicate to them that I put all of the effort I could into preparing that beverage for them.
I know I’ve competed in a lot of latte art competitions. Along the way I’ve gotten a fair amount of negative comments from fellow baristas and members of the coffee community asking me why I always pour simple, quick patterns and not more complicated “slow to pour patterns” and my response is: I am a professional barista. My first duty is service. Everything I do as a barista is in “service” of service, therefore my latte art is a reflection of that. Latte art comps are merely another opportunity for me to prepare a delicious beverage and to serve it to another guest, the panel of judges. So yes, the pours will be quick, simple and beautiful.
I will be honest, I wasn’t always this way in service with latte art. I have wasted coffee and milk, I have taken too long finishing beverages with over complicated patterns, manipulated the ingredients to maximise contrast and so on. Not anymore thank goodness. I have had the influence of @nicely85 , @twizz_3seas and @realchrisbaca to thank for that to get me moving in the right direction. There are too many so-called “service professionals” doing this every day in cafes everywhere.
I will keep on pouring my simple, uncomplicated, beautiful patterns. Maybe I’ll switch things up and try something new at some point. Peace out️ - 2 hours ago