Shinsaku Fukayama’s Walking Snail

By Shinsaku Fukayama of St Ali, the 2018 ASCA Australian Latte Art Champion.

Animals are a great source of inspiration for latte art. Whether I’m visiting the zoo, staring up at the sky or observing animals in the park, I always look at the structure of the animal and then question what latte art techniques I could use to recreate the pattern. 

This wild brainstorming then turns into research on Google for a closer look on how to make the animals more life-like. Don’t be fooled – when I first attempt a new pattern it normally looks least like my desired pattern. Perfecting the design is a slow evolution of trying different skills and techniques to make the pattern as realistic as possible. I will practice over and over again until I start to achieve the shape I want. Sometimes it takes months, others will take weeks. It’s very rare the pattern is perfect on my first attempt. Like a painting, good latte art can be a progressive masterpiece. 

The pattern I’ve chosen to demonstrate for this August edition is my snail walking in the forest. It uses common latte art principles put together: tulip, rosetta, drag, dots. If you can achieve each of these patterns individually, you will definitely be able to create this design.  

The snail is quite simple. It’s the added features of the forest that make this design tricky, that and the positioning of all the elements in the cup. 

One skill you will have to master is rotating a cup in your fingertips – this is something you can practice without the milk. Aim for smooth and steady rotations. 

I first presented this design at the 2016 ASCA Australian Latte Art Championships in my free pour macchiato in a small cup. I placed second that year in the national finals, and since then I’ve worked on the design to make it even more realistic. 

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Advanced calibration: the different stages of espresso extraction

Traditionally, espresso coffee was made with a sensory approach, which would require months or even years to master. It required baristas to develop a sensitivity to the way the grind looked, the volume of coffee in the basket, the speed and time at which it extracted, and the way it looked, smelled, and tasted. 

Fast forward in time, and through the development of tools and technology, we swapped our sensory approach to espresso production for a scientific recipe of numbers, scales, refractometers, and pressure. These tools have helped baristas achieve quality control and simplified our lives by providing useful facts and numbers to work with. But imagine for a second we lost all of this technology. Could you still produce great tasting coffee? Read more

Shinsaku Fukayama’s Parrot latte art

By Shinsaku Fukayama of St Ali, the 2018 ASCA Australian Latte Art Champion.

Hi everyone. Welcome to my first editorial column for BeanScene magazine. I’m so excited to join you for the next year as a regular contributor and share some of my favourite latte art patterns with you.  Read more

Aaron Dongsu Shin’s Rainbow Fish

By Aaron Dongsu Shin is the 2017 ASCA Australian Pura Latte Art Champion.

Welcome to my first column for BeanScene. I’m very excited to have this opportunity to share my love of latte art with you. I never imagined I’d be in this position three years ago. Read more

Australian Latte Art Champion Ben Morrow talks technique and tilt

Hey there. This edition I wanted to focus on equipment and technique. One of the things that helps with mastering any latte art is knowing the way that things happen, why they happen, and how to keep your equipment the same. I always stress to students about spout alignment. This determines the outcome of what happens on the surface of the drink. Read more

Aaron Dongsu Shin creates The Penguin

For lovers of the movie Happy Feet, you’re in for a treat.

In the movie, you might recall the character Lovelace, the rockhopper penguin. He’s a distinguished character because of his beak and bright yellow crests. He’s also the top of the pecking order in the penguin colony. Read more