Friday, June 21, 2013

Latte Art...

The first thing I do every morning is make coffee drinks for my fiancĂ© and me, and whomever else in the house wants them.  I used to make a trip to Starbucks every day, but that became a little costly.  Not saying anything against Starbucks, I think that is a wonderful company.  When I'm taking the girls to school, I still stop there to give them a treat in the morning before class.  But...

We invested in a pretty pricey espresso machine.  The Breville  BES900XL Semi Automatic espresso machine.  I have had four or five lower cost espresso machines before, and they all produced coffee.  Really strong coffee, but this machine makes honest to goodness espresso with a heavy dose of crema.  It has two boilers also, so I can steam milk at the same time I'm pulling the shots.  

That, combined with the Lincoln Avenue Coffee Company beans that we use.  Those coffee beans are of the finest roast I've ever come across.  They are roasted by a friend of mine in Yakima, Washington.  Espresso made from his beans tastes like really stout ale.  We stock up, and buy 5 to 12 pounds of it every time we go to Yakima.  So, if you're near there, try it!

The way you can tell if you're producing really good steamed milk and espresso, when you finally mix them together, you can draw on top of what you have created.  The more control you have in your drawing, the better the drink.  For the most part, I have pretty good control.  No giraffes or anything, but I can always draw a polar bear.  I love to draw something really cute on Diane's mocha every morning, think of an equally cute one liner, and deliver them both to her when she first opens her eyes from a good night's sleep.  That always brings a smile to her face.  

My only tools, besides the espresso machine, are the little pitcher, a spoon, and the thermometer.  I pull the shots of coffee, and mix in the mocha syrup.  Then I steam the milk and pour it on top of the espresso, with the finest foam first.  I sometimes have to block the big foam with a spoon.  When all of the fine bubbled foam have been drained and mixed, I make a shape with the foam on top of the drink.  This makes the canvas.  The paint brush is the thermometer, and the pigment is the mocha.

I have several that I'm particularly proud. The mochas with Alf, Mickey Mouse, The Pink Panther, and Winny the Pooh are among my favorites.  Also the mochas I've made for Pat, my future brother in law, with the skull and Ayatollah Khomeini on them.  But the Cabo Wabo laced Mocha with Sammy Hagar on it...Well...That's the one that I just doodled at the spur of the moment. It probably is my favorite.

They take less then 3 minutes to draw, and between 3 to 10 minutes to drink.  They're my performance art. 

I'm starting to make 3D polar bears, lurking in the mocha, just waiting until someone sips them.