African safari Giraffe latte art by Caleb Cha

Caleb Latte

2015 World Latte Art Champion Caleb Cha makes a return appearance to BeanScene, sharing his African safari Giraffe design.

When BeanScene asked me to make a comeback in the magazine and share one of my favourite latte art patterns, I was thrilled to get back to the skill I know and love so well. It’s been six years since that fateful day I was crowned the Australian and World Latte Art Champion. It’s a day I’ll never forget. And in times like these when where we’re restricted to international travel and large gatherings, it makes this win seem even more precious and memorable. 

Attending the ASCA Condesa Co Lab Australian Coffee Championships in March with restricted attendees also made me thankful for the small and close-knit coffee family I share here in Australia. This time however, I wasn’t the one performing, I was on the other side of the table judging the Pauls Professional Australian Latte Art Championship. 

I made sure to show compassion to each competitor that stepped up to perform in the same way other judges had done to me when I first competed, shaky hands and all. But it was the sheer talent and skill of the baristas that blew me away. I had the best seat in the house to some of the most amazing, detailed and realistic latte art designs.

I wholeheartedly congratulate this year’s winner, Victor Vu of Ona Coffee who will soon take over this column as per the tradition of national champions. I can’t wait to see what knowledge and patterns he shares with you. Until then, I’m going to demonstrate a fun design that brings me joy every time I look at it, my Giraffe. 

I’ve always loved giraffes and wondered how to replicate it in the cup. The trick is in the detail. I challenged myself to see how realistic I could make this animal, then I had the idea to add a tree, and before I knew it, I’ve painted an African safari in the cup with the giraffe trying to eat the tree branches. So there it is, my giraffe. It came to life in the cup and I hope it will for you too.

Until my next guest appearance, good luck, happy pouring, and congratulations to all of this year’s talented Australian baristas who have found a passion for latte art as I did all those years ago, and still share today. 

This article appears in the April 2021 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

Caleb Cha’s African safari Giraffe

Step 1

With the handle at three o’clock, pour a six-leaf rosetta from the centre of the cup pointing towards four o’clock. Then, pour a 10-leaf rosetta along the bottom of the cup.

Step 2

Turn the handle towards six o’clock and pour an 11-leaf rosetta from the centre of the cup towards three o’clock, forming the neck of the giraffe.

Step 3

Turn the handle back to three o’clock and pour a small four-leaf rosetta in the top left corner. Pour a parallel four-leaf rosetta just below the centre of the cup.

Step 4

Pour a curved line connecting your two right-most rosettas, and a second just to the left of the first to form the back legs.

Step 5

From the centre of the cup, pour a small C-shape for one front leg then pour another slightly curved line almost touching the bottom rosetta.

Step 6

Pour a line connecting the left of the bottom rosetta to the centre of the lower small rosetta. From the middle of that line, pour another that connects with the top one.

Step 7

Starting at the top rosetta, pour a line out slightly to the left and pull back through, just passing your starting point. Then, finish the face of the giraffe with an upwards curved line.

Step 8

In the empty space to the right of the neck, create a cloud with four to five drops of milk foam (like the Olympic rings symbol upside down). Finish with another small drop of foam slightly above it for the sun.

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