Jibbi Little pulls a kangaroo design out of her pouch that will put a skip in your step and kick into your coffee.
Australia is full of unique and interesting animals that are unlike anything else in the world.
From the platypus to the echidna and the quokka to the cassowary, these curious critters are what spring to mind for many foreigners at the mention of Australia (after the coffee quality… and the death-eating sharks, snakes and spiders). But there is one Aussie animal more iconic than any other, and that is, of course, the kangaroo.
The kangaroo is a symbol of Australia, popping up on the coat of arms, as sporting teams’ mascots, and is even used on the ‘Australian Made’ logo. A big part of why it has been so embraced as a symbol of this country is the kangaroo’s unique and easily recognisable features.
The long feet and tail, shorter arms, and arched back are hallmarks of the kangaroo and are key to any illustration of the animal. These are all featured in my latte art design, and create a pattern better suited to experienced latte artists.
Many techniques are used in this design, starting with the body. It requires good control and knowledge of how your actions will affect the shape of your pour. It might help to think of this step like the first leaves of a large rosetta.
Full rosettas appear throughout the design, adding texture to elements like the tail and chest, helping them stand out from the smoother body and legs.
Dragging adds to the shape of the pattern, really bringing it to life. Performing the two drags that link the tail to the head will take time for newer latte artists. Finally, the cunning eye technique is used to give the kangaroo shape to its facial features without the need for etching. It has become a popular and useful technique among latte artists thanks to 2018 World Latte Art Champion Arnon Thitiprasert.
If you are just starting out in your latte art journey and struggle with the complex design, don’t give up. We were all joeys before jumping out of the pouch.
This article appears in the August 2020 edition of BeanScene Magazine. Subscribe HERE.
Jibbi Little’s Kangaroo
Build the base with the handle at 12 o’clock. Begin with a drop to the right of a centre with a slight wiggle to give it a more oval shape. This creates the torso.
Drag a line from just right of the middle of that drop towards the rim of the cup, followed by a thin loop pointing downwards. This forms the leg and foot.
Turn the handle to 3 o’clock. Along the top of the cup, pour a six-leaf rosetta, followed by a second one starting slightly below and to the right of the first.
Along the left of the cup, starting from the torso, pour a nine-leaf rosetta to create the chest and neck.
At the other end of the body, to the right of the leg, pour a 10-leaf rosetta that curves to end near the handle.
In the same movement, drag a line along this tail and the torso. Start a new drag along the neck, up to the edge of the cup and looping back down to form an ear.
Pour a second ear to the left, followed by a longer and wider loop pointing to the left. Use the ‘cunning eye’ technique to fill in the face while leaving space for the eye.
Halfway down the neck rosetta, pour a ^ shape for the arm. Finish by dragging a line that connects the two loose rosettas, turning them into a tree.