Jibbi Little shares a challenging penguin latte art design with a lot of character and two happy feet.
From the whimsical movie Happy Feet showing one penguin’s desire to dance, to Morgan Freeman’s majestic voice narrating the sometimes harsh March of the Penguins, the flightless birds have captivated people’s imaginations with their unique look, behaviour, and habitats.
Though both these films follow the huge emperor penguins of Antarctica, Australia has a native species of its own, the fairy or little penguins. Victoria’s Phillip Island is best known for its little penguin population, as is Western Australia’s Penguin Island, home to 1000 pairs of penguins during winter that featured in a movie of its own, Oddball, in 2015.
The penguin is a popular latte art design, but for my version, I’m going to get the scene and add a little extra detail. This pattern is complex and may prove difficult for beginners. It requires a good understanding of spacing to ensure the penguin looks right when the body connects with the wings.
You’ll also need to understand how one technique will affect the look of another, such as pouring through the hearts in step one to draw the branch.
A high level of proficiency is also needed to master the different sized and shaped rosettas, thickening your pour when moving from the body to the face, and the cunning eye technique used to provide the design with its character.
Getting the right shape for the face, eye, and beak will also likely take quite a bit of work to perfect.
This fairy penguin design is definitely a challenge, but the reward is the look on your customers’ faces when you reward them with a delicious coffee and equally impressive-looking latte art of a feathered, fluffy friend.
This article appears in the December 2019 edition of BeanScene Magazine. Subscribe HERE.
Jibbi Little’s Little Penguin
With the handle at 12 o’clock, pour four small hearts from six to three o’clock, pulling through on the last heart to form a branch.
Pour a nine-leaf rosetta from where this branch ends to roughly nine o’clock, then pull through.
Turn the handle to three o’clock. Pour a five-leaf rosetta from the centre of the cup to the handle, then pull back through along the side, forming the first wing.
Near the bottom heart of the first branch, pour a horizontal seven-leaf rosetta to the edge of the cup, forming the ground.
Just to the left of the centre of the cup, pour a five-leaf rosetta, ending just before touching the ground. Then, pull back up along the side, forming a second wing.
To create the body, start with a small heart just above the ground, pointing inwards. Pour a backwards question mark shape beginning from the bottom that connects both wings and ends with the loop above them.
In the same motion but with a thicker foam, use the cunning eye technique to fill in the face and draw the eye. Pull through along the bottom to form a beak.
Drop a small amount of foam below the second wing to form the tail, another larger drop to fill the body, and a small drop at one o’clock to form the moon.