Hunting Hawk latte art by Victor Vu

Victor Vu

Fifth-place World Latte Art Champion Victor Vu shares his designer latte art design that wowed the judges and took him all the way to the finals.   

I’m back. After a whirlwind few months of training and preparation for the 2022 World Latte Art Championships (WLAC) in Milan, I am happy to say I lived out my dream of competing on the World stage, and presenting my original patterns for the world to see. I’m proud of what I accomplished and thank all my supporters and sponsors who believed in me. I gave my all in the final round, and left everything out there on the stage. I didn’t get to hold the biggest trophy of them all, but I’m happy and proud to be fifth best in the world.

victor vu
Victor Vu of Ona Coffee Melbourne is the 2020 ASCA Australian Pauls Professional Latte Art Champion.

I’ve received so many messages and photos of baristas attempting my designs from the WLAC, and for this column, I’m going to show you my Hunting Hawk design.

All my patterns embraced a fighting spirit and displayed my consistent pouring ability and creative fine lines, and you’ll see that come together in this pattern. It’s all about control, contrast, and detail. But most importantly, this is a pattern broken down in triangular patterns for symmetry.

The chin of the hawk is a triangle shape, so is the beak, and from the top of the eyebrows to the chin.

When I poured this design for the judges, I described this design as my ‘final masterpiece’. It has a maximum level of difficulty, which involves pouring seven rosettas with etching to create a realistic design with great expression. Just look at the vicious eyes. They’re so intense because of the detail within them.

There’s only one way to tackle my Hunting Hawk, and that’s to try it for yourself. Just like I told the world judges, “I hope you enjoy my latte art design, this really is my mastery at its finest”.

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Victor Vu’s Hunting Hawk

Step 1

With the handle at three o’clock, build your base and pour your first seven-leaf rosetta along the side of left side of the cup, starting at 9 o’clock and pushing upwards. From the end of that rosetta, pour your second seven-leaf rosetta. Turn the cup handle to 12 o’clock. From the point of the handle, pour your third seven-leaf rosetta down the cup. From that end, pour the fourth seven-leaf rosetta. The two sides of the hawk’s face and adjacent rosettas should meet like the point of a triangle.

Step 2

Turn the cup 90 degrees so that the handle sits at 3 o’clock. Pour a slightly curved seven-leaf rosetta at the top of the cup to create the head of the hawk.

Step 3

Turn the cup handle clockwise to 5 o’clock. To create the hawk’s eyebrows, start your next seven-leaf pour from the centre of the cup and pour upwards on a diagonal angle. Turn your cup handle anti-clockwise to 2 o’clock and repeat the process to create the second eyebrow, finishing at the centre of the cup. Aim for symmetry.

Step 4

To create the beak, pour a thick line from the point where the eyebrows meet down the cup.

Step 5

With your etching tool, add a bit of milk foam and draw lines either side of your eyebrows for definition. Angle the tip upwards at the end of the eyebrow to make it more angry. Repeat the process to the second eyebrow.

Step 6

The beak is one of the hardest parts of the pattern. The pointier you make it, the angrier the hawk. Etch a line up then deep down the cup. Think of a triangle shape from the top points of the eyebrows to the bottom of the beak.

Step 7

To create the eye, first use your etching tool to create two half circle shapes. Make the smaller one first, then the bigger on the outside, really rounding it up on the outer edge.

Step 8

Clean the tool, tip it into your coffee crema and etch the nostrils and a line to highlight the beak. Finally, add a white dot in the middle of the eye to make it more vicious and intense.

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