Victor Vu charges ahead with this beast of a pattern, designed to push your skills to the limit and give you strength to tackle whatever challenge comes next.
The hospitality sector was thrown its greatest challenge to date with the global pandemic struck in 2020, forcing in-person dining restrictions, the reduction of staff hours and in some cases, permanent shop closures. It wasn’t an easy time. On reflection now, we got through it with determination and resilience.
When I think back to that period, the symbol of the taurus comes to mind. The taurus, Latin for bull, is a symbol of strength. In astrology, the taurus is the second sign of the zodiac, and in the night sky, the constellation is hard to miss. Why? Because of the giant red Aldebaran star in the constellation, which forms the bull’s eye.
So why not turn that constellation into a latte art design? If it’s a pattern in the sky, we can surely create it in the cup, and that’s exactly what I’ve done.
I first presented my taurus pattern in 2019 at the Australian Latte Art Championship. The inspiration for this design came to me after I had a dream about a taurus shape. When I woke up, I drew it on a piece of paper, and that’s where the evolution for this design started. I used it again at the 2020 Nationals competition, and it seemed pretty effective, landing me the winning spot a booked place at the World Latte Art Championships (WLAC).
The biggest development I’ve made with this design is making it more photo realistic. That’s always the hardest part, taking a design from a concept to a physical form, then trying to pack in as many features and skill-based techniques to get it looking as detailed as possible.
The key pressure point in this design is the clarity of separation between the different elements, and awareness of space. There’s a lot to pack into the cup, and each element needs to be in proportion to bring the facial structure of the taurus to life.
It’s been a long journey of training and preparation to get ready for the WLAC, and it’s finally arrived. I’ll be in Milan, Italy from 23 to 25 June and I’m so ready. I can’t wait to show you what I’ve been working so hard on, and I want to thank everyone for their support along the way.
I will try my best, and channel my inner taurus.
This article appears in the June 2022 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.
Victor Vu’s Taurus
Build your base with the handle at nine o’clock. Pour a two-layered tulip or heart as you push into the layer and see it curve. This forms the temple of the bull.
At the opposite end to the tulip, pour a 10-leaf rosetta on either side of the cup.
Now pour two smaller eight-leaf rosettas either side of the heart to create the nose. Rotate the cup clockwise as you go. Pour one rosetta underneath the heart in the centre of the cup to form the structure of the taurus’ face.
With the cup handle now at three o’clock, drag your pour from the end of the rosetta to form a loop shape. Repeat on the other side. This will be the taurus’ horns.
On the left-hand side of the cup, make a small pour on an angle, then continue the drag straight down the cup. This will form the eyebrow and facial bones of the taurus.
Repeat step on the opposite side.
At the bottom of the cup, pour a loop or an infinity symbol. This will form the nostrils.
Drop one dot of foam underneath nostril for the mouth, and two small dots for the eyes, and you’re done!