Reigning Australian Latte Art Champion Amy Zhang shares a refined take on a mythical creature that’s detailed, complex, and full of good fortune.
Qilin holds deep historical roots in Chinese culture. It is revered as a mythical creature associated with auspiciousness, luck, and blessings.
In legends, the Qilin is described as a majestic and noble being whose appearance heralds the arrival of good fortune and prosperity. Therefore, choosing the Qilin as the theme for my coffee latte art not only adds an element of mystery and grandeur to beverages, but also conveys well wishes of good luck and a bright future to customers.
The visual aesthetics of the Qilin complement the textures and colours of a latte. The Qilin is often depicted as a wondrous creature, typically characterised by its long and elegant neck, deer- like antlers, scales, and lion’s tail. These features blend harmoniously with the soft foam and the hues of coffee and milk, creating a unique and exquisite visual effect. The patterns and designs formed on the surface of the latte resemble the outline and ornamental details of the Qilin, turning the entire coffee cup into a one-of-a-kind piece of art.
This article appears in the August 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.
Amy Zhang’s Qilin
Build a clean base, keeping the cup handle at 3 o’clock, and pour the first seven-leaf rosetta at the central point of the cup.
Turn the handle to 12 o’clock and pour four half circles to create clouds.
Turn the cup handle back to 3 o’clock and draw the second set of four half circles at the bottom of the first rosetta. Then, turn the cup again with the handle at 6 o’clock to pour a third set of four half circles to create the Qilin’s scales and neck.
Keep the cup in the same position and pour a five-leaf rosetta, pulling through down the side of rosetta to create the Qilin’s tail. Then, pour another five-leaf rosetta at the base of the first rosetta. Draw a line to finish the Qilin’s neck.
Turn the cup handle to 3 o’clock and pour two short rosettas with four leaves. Draw a circle at the front of the top rosetta to create its mouth.
Create the back legs first, dragging lines using the milk foam as per the image.
Using the milk foam, drag two more lines to create the front legs as shown.
Starting from the top of the tail, draw deer-like antlers and connect them with the mouth. Then, drop an eye in the space between the antlers and the mouth.