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Jibbi Little sticks her neck out with a latte art pattern that puts the humble giraffe in the spotlight.
When thinking of new patterns, animals are an easy and reliable source of inspiration.
From cute koalas to majestic eagles, there’s no shortage of unique critters that can make a pattern stand out from the crowd. Not only are there hundreds of animals to base a pattern on, there’s an infinite number of ways they can be realised.
You could tell two latte artists to draw you a fish and receive wildly different designs. Think of the hundreds of swans and dozens of butterflies that have flown across latte art competition benches.
With its long neck, skinny legs, and distinctive facial features, the giraffe is another animal with endless potential.
I presented this pattern at the Australian Specialty Coffee Association 2020 Central Region Pauls Professional Latte Art Championship as part of a Safari Tour theme, also including a penguin (see BeanScene December 2019) and a kangaroo. These patterns put the animals in their natural habitat, using trees, leaves, and the sun to set the scene and capture the imagination.
The aim of this set was to combine multiple old-school techniques to create something new. Rosettas are used to add texture to the mane of the giraffe and leaves of the trees. A different technique is used for the leaf on the left to add variety. Arnon Thitiprasert’s cunning eye technique is employed to give the giraffe a soft, serene expression. Finally, dragging and dropping techniques are used to fill in the simpler details that make the pattern pop.
Listing these components may make the design sound easy but bringing them all together is not. It will take practice and patience to perfect the techniques, spacing, and pattern. But once those willing to invest the time and effort master the design, they’ll be feeling as tall as a giraffe.
This article appears in the December 2019 edition of BeanScene Magazine. Subscribe HERE.
Jibbi Little’s Giraffe
Build your base with the handle at 12 o’clock. Opposite the handle, pour two connected S shapes then pull through. This should resemble two hearts.
Along the rim from 11 to 2 o’clock, pour a 10-leaf rosetta. From the same starting point, pour a seven-leaf rosetta that connects again with the first, forming an oval.
Drag a line through from the bottom of the oval through the top. Drag a second line on top of this one, forming a T or pickaxe shape.
Pour a seven-leaf rosetta from the middle of the cup to three o’clock. Near the bottom of this rosetta, pour three small drops of foam, pulling up as they land to create small arrow shapes.
From the top of the latest rosetta, drag a line down across the other side of the drops.
Turn the handle to three o’clock. At the top of the rosetta from step 4, pour a small loop, then pull up. From the same starting point, drag slightly to the left then pull up again.
From the point you pulled up, drag further to the left, ending near where the first leaf starts. Drag back, curving halfway along the line to create a P shape for the face. In the same movement, use the cunning eye technique to fill in the face and create the eye.
Finish with a drop of foam for the sun between the giraffe and the right tree.