Amybear latte art by Amy Zhang

ASCA Australian Latte Art Champion Amy Zhang

ASCA Australian Latte Art Champion Amy Zhang shares her winning nationals design, taking inspiration from her favourite Disney movie.

Looking back on the past few years, lockdowns have changed the lives of countless people, inevitably causing anxiety, depression, and boredom for many. It took away people’s spark, and happiness, myself included.

Fortunately, now that the lockdown policy is over and the economy is gradually recovering, our barista community can finally get back to work, serving tasty coffee to our customers.

I considered how I could use my latte art skills to encourage more people drink tasty coffee, and at the same time create a sense of joy. I want to create latte art designs that are vivid and interesting and resonate with more people.

Amy Zhang is the 2022 ASCA Australian Latte Art Champion.

I was surprised to receive so many messages and photos of baristas attempting my designs from the Australian Latte Art Championships (WLAC), in particular my Amybear design, based on the ‘Lots-o-Huggin’ Bear from Toy Story. I didn’t expect so many baristas to connect with this pattern, and share it and the happiness it brings, with their own customers.

So, for my first BeanScene column as the Australia Latte Art Champion, I’m going to show you how to create my Amybear pattern.

All my designs embrace my love of Disney movies, especially this character from Toy Story.

I always like to give the Amybear a smile in the hope that it’s contagious. The pattern is fairly easy to pour and suitable for all levels of baristas to replicate.

The technical pain-point of this pattern is how you hold the cup. I use what I call the ‘turning cup skill’, making sure to always rotate the cup as I pour. As a righthanded person, I use my left hand to turn the cup.

All the rosettas and drawing line sections of this pattern are completed during the turning movement. To prepare either hand to perform the ‘turning cup skill’, I suggest practicing Coffee Trainer Yuanyi Zhang’s ‘wreath pattern’ to begin with. This is not an easy task as you need to keep your preferred hand steadily swinging, and at the same time evenly rotate your other hand on the cup. You can download a metronome app and set it up to assist your swing rhythm when pouring. That way you can put more focus on the moving rotation of your nondominant hand. I use this method myself when training and find it very helpful.

To perfect this design, remember to relax your body, arms, and neck. You can’t pour good latte art when your muscles are too stiff. As long as you can draw, you can pour.

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This article appears in the October 2022 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

Amy Zhang’s Amybear

Step 1

Starting with the cup handle at 12 o‘clock, build your base. In line with the cup handle, pour two curving rosettas using the ‘turning cup skill’ at the base of the handle. Make the first rosetta with nine leaves, and the second underneath with six leaves.

Step 2

Turn the cup handle to three o‘clock. Leave a two-centimetre gap for the ear above the first rosetta and pour a seven-leaf rosetta while turning the cup. The cup’s handle goes back to 12 o’clock in a continuous movement. Drag a line to the bottom of the cup handle. This is the top of Amybear’s nose.

Step 3

Pour the last four-leaf rosetta in the middle of the cup and without stopping, draw a s-shaped curving line to connect to the top of the nose.

Step 4

Continue the dragging movement by drawing a curved c-shaped line.

Step 5

Continue the drag directly to the bottom of the second rosetta. This creates the mouth.

Step 6

Control the flow rate. Pour two C-shape The right ear is at the junction of the third rosetta and the line.

Step 7

Draw two curving eyebrows and a solid circle under the top of the nose, not too small and not too big. You can play around with the bear’s expressive (happy or grumpy) by adjusting the angle of the eyebrows.

Step 8

Finish your design using the ‘high to low’ drop foam skill to make two eyes. The two eyes should be parallel to the cup handle.

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