There are many things that separate a quality cup of coffee from any old run-of-the-mill AM java fix. One of these is latte art, those intricate designs created with steamed milk that adorn the caffeinated creations of the best baristas.
These liquid works of art can be created by precisely free-pouring whole milk into an espresso shot and gently maneuvering it into organic shapes from florets to phoenixes, or by using heavy syrups as ink and etching intricate designs into the lactic canvas. According to Scott Carey, owner of Sump Coffee in South City, these detailed artworks signify to customers that they’re getting a superior culinary creation made with care and skill and not just any cup of joe. Carey, whose baristas use the free-pour method, says even Sump’s to-go orders get the artistic touch.