From flowers to portraits: Secrets to your coffee's intricate designs revealed

Khaleej Times met three individuals who competed in the championships held in Dubai, where they showcased their passion for coffee

by

Waad Barakat

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Photo: Typica coffee Instagram
Photo: Typica coffee Instagram

Published: Mon 22 Jan 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 22 Jan 2024, 6:57 PM

In the world of coffee, a captivating art form has emerged -latte art. This visually stunning craft, characterised by intricate designs adorning the surface of a latte, has garnered immense popularity. It showcases the skill, precision, and boundless creativity of baristas and latte artists.

Latte art encompasses many designs, from elegantly simple heart shapes and tulips to awe-inspiring creations of animals and intricate portraits. Accomplished baristas and latte artists employ techniques such as free pouring and etching to breathe life into these designs, transforming a simple cup of coffee into a mesmerising work of art. Latte art competitions not only celebrate the skill and creativity of these artists but also elevate the craft to a highly respected and sought-after domain within the coffee industry.

We recently met three individuals who competed in the World of Coffee Championships held in Dubai, where they showcased their passion for coffee.

Pencil sketches to latte masterpieces

Hailing from Nepal and representing the chapter by Ribbonaira in Abu Dhabi, Raju Tamang's journey in the coffee industry has been remarkable. Beginning his career as a barista in his native Nepal, Raju's deep-rooted passion for art propelled him toward latte design. From pencil sketches to the canvas of coffee, Raju encountered challenges.

However, his dedication and relentless practice paid off, enabling him to create various patterns tailored to his customer's preferences. Having participated in numerous latte art competitions and emerged victorious, Raju is pleased to showcase his skills on the global stage as a representative of the UAE.

"This is a good opportunity for me in the UAE. For me, this is the best place in the world to pursue this passion," He told Khaleej Times.

Changing paths

Michaela Ruazol, a graduate in International Travel and Tourism Management, embarked on an unexpected path in the coffee industry. Initially working as a waitress within a renowned restaurant group in the UAE, Michaela's path shifted when she seized the opportunity to undergo specialised barista training.

Falling in love with coffee and its diverse flavours and nuances, she wholeheartedly embraced the world of specialty coffee. This passion culminated in establishing her coffee shop, Typica Cafe.

While Michaela humbly admits that she is not a master of latte art, she acknowledges the rigorous practice and unwavering focus it demands.

"I'm not very good at latte art because it requires a lot of practice; I can do a tulip but not a horse, for example. To be so focused in such a pressured area is the definition of art itself, and I encourage everyone competing in this category," Michaela said.

She marvels at the burgeoning growth of the coffee industry within the UAE, affording baristas the chance to explore unique origins and form connections with coffee producers worldwide.

Passion and engineering

At 31, Kemal Risyad, an Indonesian latte artist who has resided in the UAE for 12 years, shared his story. Initially driven by a deep passion for engineering and working as a car technician, his love for coffee flourished as he consumed copious amounts to stay alert and focused during work. This serendipitous connection led him to dive headfirst into the world of coffee, even constructing his coffee machine—a testament to his fusion of engineering prowess and love for the bean.

As he delved further into the industry, his understanding of the ever-evolving nature of coffee deepened, and his artistic spirit found expression through playful and intricate latte art designs.

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