Tom Cat latte art by Amy Zhang

Tom Cat latte art

ASCA Australian Latte Art Champion Amy Zhang shares her take on the mischievous Tom Cat cartoon that wowed judges at the 2023 World Latte Art Championship.

Amy Zhang is the 2022 ASCA Australian Latte Art Champion.

The cartoon character Tom Cat is a nostalgic memory from my childhood filled with mischief and joy.

For the 2023 World Latte Art Championship, I wanted to convey happy emotions through this playful pattern. Tom Cat’s lively, animated, and comical smile can instantly evoke joy. I want my latte art to be vibrant, spreading happiness and establishing an emotional connection with people. Latte art is not just a skill but a form of expression that touches people’s hearts and spreads joy.

This design looks simple from the outset, but I assure you it’s not so straightforward. It doesn’t require a lot of rosettas but it does take skill and a lot of practice to master Tom Cat’s fluffy beard.

The strategy to this realistic feature is pouring slow rosettas. There are a lot of lines in this pattern and low tolerance for error. How well you replicate the thickness and stroke of the lines will determine the success or failure of this pattern.

The slightest mistake between the lines can lead to an obvious change in Tom Cat’s facial expression. The key to the whole pattern is positioning, angle, and size of Tom Cat’s whiskers, which is very easy to look stiff.

With that said, let’s try making Tom Cat together and bring joy and laughter to everyone who gets to create this latte art.

This article appears in the April 2024 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

Amy Zhang’s Tom Cat

Step 1

Position the cup handle at 12 o’clock and slightly tilt the cup towards you. Pour a six-leaf rosetta slowly. To create the illusion of fluffy whiskers, the key is to swivel your cup-holding-hand at the same time as you pour.

Step 2

Tilt your cup to the other side. Position your pitcher close to the cup handle and pour the second six-leaf rosetta rosetta down the cup. Again, slightly turn the cup to make the whiskers look fluffy.

Step 3

Turn your cup handle to 3 o’clock. Pour a curved five-leaf rosetta. Directly after, draw an ear by dragging your pour to create an ear shape, making sure it has a pointed corner. This is part of the defining characteristics of Tom Cat.

Step 4

Pour a second three-leaf rosetta close to the first rosetta. Then, draw a line in the shape of a ‘C’ to create Tom Cat’s nose.

Step 5

In the same movement, draw his mouth. The proportions of the mouth to nose, especially the shape of the corners of the mouth and chin, will determine his smile. Keep the cup turning at the same time throughout the process.

Step 6

With the handle still at 3 o’clock, draw a curved line from the bottom of the first rosetta to the top, to finish Tom’s other ear. Ensure it has a pointed corner and it’s not too small.

Step 7

Use semi-dry foam that has been sitting for a while to draw the rim of the eye in the shape of an ‘M’. The technique requires you to drag the milk forward instead of backwards.

Step 8

To create Tom Cat’s eyeballs, drop two large dots of milk. Note
the oval shape of the eyes rather than round, and be careful of the surrounding orbital lines, which can easily join together. Finish with a small triangular nose.

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