Buro Tries: Latte Art with Common Man Coffee Roasters KL
A latte of fun
Common Man Coffee Roasters KL caused quite a flow of mouth-watering photos on Instagram when they opened in November 2016; and now, similar to their Singapore branch, they will soon be hosting a couple of regular coffee appreciation and technique workshops in a special section of the cafe, which they affectionately call The Academy. Right before they introduced it at Cafe Malaysia 2017, we had the opportunity to try their Latte Art Techniques workshop for this month's Buro Tries. They've yet to finalise the schedule but stay tuned for it after Chinese New Year.
Watch the video below of the Buro team learning to create basic latte art:
Rachel Au, Senior Lifestyle Writer
It's always nice to receive your order of latte with an intricate design on it—so much so that for me, I've always been intrigued to try my hand at it and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Not to mention, it always looks so therapeutic in those Instagram or YouTube videos but of course, I knew it's no easy task. With every introduction to a basic design—and despite Pablo reassuring us that it's a) easy and b) we can definitely do it—we were initally apprehensive of everything. From purging the steam wand to frothing the milk to pouring said milk into the (angled) cup in a certain way while making sure we don't spill the coffee, it was both thrilling and nerve-wrecking. And yet there was a simple joy from successfully creating a blob alone, and the more I practised, the more addictive the whole process was. I think I might have just found my future calling (though I'm far from making a perfect tulip much less a rosetta).
Loh Wei Yeen, Fashion & Beauty Writer
Just one look at that swirly foamy artwork floating on a cuppa latte and you'd know that just one introductory class to latte art making isn't going to cut it. I'd always thought it wasn't an easy feat to master the art of making espresso-based drinks—from the tamping of coffee grounds to frothing the milk. Fortunately for us, Pablo was really patient throughout the class and we learned a few lessons along the way i.e. a gentle flick of the wrist can work wonders with your final art, and don't be afraid of the steam wand. The process was easy to grasp, although not so much mastering it (obviously). Thanks to this workshop, I'm glad to say that I can kind of get away with blobs and tulips now but I'll need more time to work on a rosetta, that's for sure.
Alyssa Lee, Editorial Assistant
Coming from an art and design background, I've always been one to scrutinise artworks that adorn my coffee foam. Now, no matter how lopsided a heart is or if a rosetta arrives with weak undefined squiggles (Sorry, Pablo—the technical terms escape me), I'd be beaming with gratitude to the barista who made it while chomping on my slice of humble pie. It really is an art—it requires patience, experience, talent and bulletproof technique. Even with the surprisingly informative slide presentation and an instructor with the patience of a saint, I still stand mystified by the micro-ness of the micro foam and the pace of the pour. It definitely was a challenge but one where improvements are seen with every attempt. I'd love to sign up for more but till then, if anybody asks, I specialise in abstract (latte) art.
Yi Suen Chong, Digital Designer
I'm an avid coffee drinker (flat white, anyone?) and I really enjoy taking a sip of those beautiful cups of coffee art. However, the thought of actually making a cuppa like that has never occured to me until this workshop. I'd have to admit that walking in to the workshop and seeing the slide on the screen say "Advanced Latte Art" intimidated me; but Pablo was very encouraging as he led us through each step. Personally, I find the hardest part of the workshop to be the steaming milk part as too much or too little foam could affect the outcome of the latte art. Don't get me started on pouring that steamed milk into the cup—they seem to have a will of their own, flowing everywhere but the direction I wanted. Four hours of this workshop definitely can't prepare us to be future baristas but I now have a new gained respect for all the baristas out there. It might seem like an easy job but it takes a lot of practice to master it. Rest assured I'll never stir (read: ruin) another cup of latte art again.