"Autour L.A. Latte Please!"
Coffee has always been an essential element of morning rituals for people of different cultural backgrounds all over the world. Today, it is an all-day long trend which and cafes care doing everything possible and impossible to keep that trend going.
“Latte” is an English term for the Italian phrase “caffe latte”- meaning “milk coffee”.
Milk and coffee have been an integral part of the classy European cuisine since the 17th century and spread over to the modern day United States.
Latte is one of the reasons this beverage became iconic. There is nothing extraordinary in making latte: it is a mixture of espresso and milk. The question is what do you want your barista to paint or even print on it?
For a long time latte art was made through the technique involving “microfoam” and the baristas skill to add the steam to the milk and rapidly heat it. This method of latte art included alteration of physical characteristics of the milk.
After that, the milk has to be poured into the espresso, and here is when physics and skill come into play together: the barista has to pour in a such a way that the milk gets in first, and then finish with the foam, in order to create the artwork.
Latte made coffee shops competitive as who will get the most stylish and unique latte art, and the winner is - Carrera Cafe (located on the corner of Melrose and Harper Ave.) serves stylish Angelenos with lattes with images of their shoes, favorite places, and sayings.
The competition rose to a technological level: now the skillful baristas are being replaced with a good WiFi connection and The Ripple Maker - a device that evolved the latte art with its combination of 3D and inkjet printing which perfectly reproduces any image you request onto your latte. Ripple Pods (high-resolution images) are made with coffee extract from a high-quality mix of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans, and can be printed on any foam topped milk.
This machine made its debuted at New York technology show CE Week in 2015. Kia Illulian was the first one to bring the Ripple Maker to Los Angeles and debut it at his Carrera Cafe.
“I already had planned the opening of a cafe in West Hollywood, but when I saw this machine, I immediately decided to bring it to Carrera. I wanted to create something that resembles a getaway fromL.A. lifestyle which would represent Italy,” said Illulian, who has exclusive rights to selling this machine in California.
Indeed, his cafe with a European features (designed with Italian Carrera marble and serving compact sandwiches, salads, and cute desserts just like Europeans do) is one of the three other ones in Los Angeles that can brag about their unique latte art abilities. Once you download the Coffee Ripples app, you can see what coffee shops have the machine and can send your custom ripples to any of them though WiFi.
Steps to getting a custom latte art:
1. Download the Coffee Ripples App
2. Create a Ripple
3. Upload a picture from your phone
4. Click Ripple It
5. Send it to the nearest cafe which carries the Ripple Maker
6. Get Your Ripple Number
7. Tell your Barista your number at a checkout.
8. Take a picture of your latte-art and enjoy!
The custom images on lattes are not that cheap: the machine costs $999 and requires a $85 monthly subscription. Lufthansa Airlines is one of the corporate customers of Ripples who bought the machine for their first-class lounges in Frankfort, which will debut this year. They care about customer experience, and what can be more special than a custom latte?