Rie Moustakas creates a Phoenix and Peacock Hybrid
This pattern is one that requires a bit of technique in addition to a bit of creativity. I like this pattern because it is quite striking for customers to see and once you have mastered it, it can be quick to do in a busy café environment.
I discovered the idea for this pattern from seeing a lot of swans, peacocks and phoenixes around the latte art scene. I first used this pattern at a competition in the Australian Specialty Coffee Association Western Australian Latte Art heats in 2013, where I placed first.
The challenges in this pattern is getting the symmetry of the tail and wings and keeping it centred.
A useful tip is to practice your tulips, rosettas, swan necks and hearts as you use a combination of all four pouring techniques to create this pattern.
This pattern is called a hybrid because the top part looks like a phoenix but the bottom part is like the tail of a peacock.
- Step 1 Hold the cup in the palm of your hand for balance and control. With your opposite hand start swirling the crema in the cup. This will create a nice base for your design.
- Step 2 Angle the jug nice and high and slowly begin to pour into the centre of the cup, using your pour to eliminate any froth that appears on the surface.
- Step 3 Bring the jug spout close to the cup and pour your first leaf. This should create a circle. Pull up. Pour your second leaf by pouring again and push into the first leaf. You’ll see a slight separation between colours.
- Step 4 Pour again to create a third, fourth and fifth leaf. Push each layer into the next so the leaves curl around the cup.
- Step 5 Pour two rosettas to create the Phoenix’s wings, one either side of the centre, at 10 o’clock and at 2 o’clock. Make a zigzag motion with your hand from the centre of the cup out to the edge.
- Step 6 Pull up through the centre to meet the rosetta in the middle. To create the swan neck, pour in the space that remains between the two rosettas. Start from the centre of the cup and curve the crema like a C-shape. Finish off with a round head by creating a round blob at the end, and pull up.
- Step 7 Using an etching tool, dip the tip into the froth first, then drag from the outside through the wings nine times. To do this, pull from the outside into the centre in a straight line. This will create the peacock tail.
- Step 8 For a final touch, give the phoenix a heart by dipping the etching tool into the crema and drawing a small heart shape on the neck. I always like to put a bit of love in each of my patterns.