20 awesome photos of extreme latte art

Coffee artist Zach Yonzon’s latte portrait of world champion boxer Manny Pacquiao.
Reuters/Romeo Ranoco

A little bit of creativity can go a long way in the morning. For some coffee drinkers, a cup’s appearance can be just as important as its taste.

Recent surveys have even shown that some people are willing to pay more for an especially creative latte.

In August, the Journal of Sensory Studies published the findings of an online survey whose respondents were willing to pay up to 13% more for a cup of coffee with latte art than for a cup that didn’t have it.

From hearts and flowers to animals and cars, here are 20 photos (and a video) that show what a little bit of swirled milk can do.

The art starts with a cup of espresso and steamed milk. From there, it’s all about how you pour, swirl, and manipulate the foam.

Borrowed a friends iPhone 6 to test the camera, pretty damn good!

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Baristas spend hours practicing elegant and sophisticated designs.

It requires a very careful pour — baristas start slow and high above the mug to create a milk base, then lower the pitcher of milk so it touches the cup before they design.

Pour a little faster to form a dot or halo, and gently shake the pitcher side to side for a rosetta effect. This method is referred to as free pouring.

Couple flatties during today’s rush 🙂

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When executed correctly, the result is a crazy work of art on top of your latte.

While some baristas free pour, others stencil designs with chocolate or cinnamon. It looks like DC Comics Superheroes Cafe in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is a fan of this method.

Baristas often dedicate entire Instagram accounts to their latte art, like Cortney Kern of @baristamaniac.

Happy Friday! Another elephant just poured. #elephant #baristamaniac #latteart #animal #coffee

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Hearts were one of the original latte art designs.

#latteart #cafelito #Stockport #coffee #grumpymule

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Today, rosettas are among the most popular designs.

Never get enough #brisbanebarista #latteart #lamarzocco #gs3 #brisbanecoffee

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Even Starbucks has picked up on the trend. Back in late 2014, leaked documents showed Starbucks executives sharing latte art how-to guides with its employees.

Short 10 stack #starbucks #latteart #baristalife

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The art doesn’t have to be limited to lattes. Cappuccinos and mochaccinos can be fancy, too.

The art often lasts when half of the coffee is gone.

Long black anyone? (;

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The World Latte Art Championship is a competition dedicated to the craft. This year’s champion, Caleb Cha of Cafenatics from Australia, created the below peacocks for the National Final 2015.

In another example of his work, he crafted this palm tree.

Just for fun:) #palmtrees #latteart #calebtiger #cafenatics #latteart_tiger #latteartporn #coffeelovers #latteart

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This java masterpiece looks like it belongs in the Louvre.

And here’s an homage to Edgar Allen Poe.

“I was never insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched” – Edgar Allan Poe

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Grumpy Cat isn’t any happier as a cup of coffee.

Grumpy cat ????

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Car enthusiasts will appreciate this BMW E36-inspired latte.

BMW E36. Inspired by @andreialta ‘s whip #latteart #e36

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This one’s perfect for a night owl forced to work until sunrise.

Insomniac ????

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Here’s a bear straight from Bangkok, Thailand.

#coffee #cafe #latte #latteart #Bangkok #Thailand

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The design may not alter the flavor, but it does make for a chic cup of coffee.