Latte art has become something of a phenomenon in recent years, with every café around the country offering their own decorative take.
A quick caffeine boost is usually the objective when grabbing a cup of coffee, but some establishments like to ensure that their customers’ coffees are as Instagrammable as possible. With almost 2.5 million photos tagged #coffeeart on Instagram, and another 6.5 million with the #latteart hashtag, it's clear that the public has a serious love for gorgeous coffees.
Latte art comes in two main varieties, free pouring and etching. Free pouring is the ultimate goal in the eyes of coffee purists. It involves pouring hot milk into coffee so that its microfoam is supported by the coffee crema (emulsion of coffee oil and brewed milk), allowing the barista to create a design.
Etching involves the use of tools, like a coffee stirrer or spoon, to create more intricate coffee images. The stirrer is used to pull the microfoam into whatever shape the barista desires, meaning that wildly inventive images can now be found on top of coffees. However, etched images don’t last as long as free poured ones, so make sure to take that (nearly) obligatory Instagram shot quickly!
Etched coffee art has developed even further recently, with baristas all over the world incorporating food colouring into their designs, allowing them to create vivid images and pictures. Fancy personalising your morning flat white with your own face? We’ve also seen some coffee shops using printers like Ripple Maker to print designs on coffees, including slogans, selfies and more, taking coffee art to a whole new level.
Looking for some cool coffee art in Dublin? Read on to find out some of our favourites...
1. Eathos, Baggot Street
We love everything about Eathos, but their coffee art is truly something special. The last few times we've been in store, we have been presented with some gorgeous art that looks to have been created by free pouring. There's nothing more Instagrammable that a little elephant made from coffee and milk!
2. Beanhive, Dawson Street
Beanhive on Dawson Street is the place to go if you want an elaborate cup of coffee. The staff produce a range of designs, including cartoon characters, landscapes and flowers, using latte art pens. We love the variety of designs available at Beanhive, but be warned that there are often queues at peak times – we're not the only ones obsessed with designs.
3. Hatch, Glasthule
Hatch is a tiny, no-frills café about two minutes from the Sandycove and Glasthule DART station, meaning it's the perfect place to visit on your way into work in the morning. Hatch serves up 3FE coffee and the staff have mastered the art of the perfect free pour, resulting in gorgeously frilled designs on top of all their coffees.
4. Ebb & Flow, Clontarf Road
Ebb & Flow on Clontarf Road is another café that knows how to serve up perfect latte art. The team here have worked really hard to perfect their pour, resulting in stellar designs like the swan below. Plus, the eats and treats on offer in this spot mean that you could easily while away an afternoon here.
5. Dublin Barista School, Anne Street South
You can rest assured that you'll always get a top-notch cup of joe from Dublin Barista School. The team here are masters of their craft so the latte art is always perfect, plus if you're thinking of expanding your coffee skills, the Dublin Barista School offers a range of classes for you to take part in.
6. The Fumbally, Fumbally Lane
While The Fumbally is well-known for its great food offerings, its coffee game is pretty great too. We love the whimsical designs that the team come up, showing how effortlessly cool coffee art can be. The bunny pictured below is one of our more recent favourites from The Fumbally.
7. Copper and Straw, Main Street, Bray
We know that Bray isn't in Dublin, but because you can get to it on the DART line, we decided to let it slide and include Copper and Straw on this list. Having only opened recently, this coffee shop is making a real name for itself thanks to its stellar coffee and top-class service. You can tell that the staff here really know what they're doing when it comes to coffee art, resulting in gorgeously finished drinks.
Where do you think serves up the best latte art? Let us know in the comments below.