Latte Art Love YYC
Last Saturday I attended the Latte Art Love - Pop Up Cafe kickstarter event in Endeavour Arts Gallery. It was my first time in this particular gallery, it was tucked away on the 2nd floor on 1st st SW downtown right near Hotel Arts. I was really excited to attend the event ever since it popped up on my Facebook few weeks ago!
I was greeted by a cute little pom x chihuahua and two young ladies who showed me the evening flow and drink options available once I arrived. The event offered the usual favourites you'd find at most coffee shops; and according to Elle (creator of this event and idea), what set's them apart with their drinks versus the typical latte you'd get at Starbucks is their focus on preparation with their coffee.
As I was very distracted exploring the gallery once I placed my latte order, my friends that arrived before me noted their disappointment with the extended wait time for their lattes. Since unfortunately the original second barista couldn't make it for the event, Yeats Wong stepped in to help Elle with the evening. But being there were only one machine, making it inevitable that the wait time would be a tad longer. (But I'm a firm believer that good things take time, and art is included). My Earl Grey latte was worth the wait! It was smooth and creamy compared to the usual lattes I'd get from other coffee shops in the city. And each cup had an etching done by Elle with the themes of Star Wars and Doctor Who. Mine had Darth Vader on it! (see photos below).
LAL also got support from one of my favourite French pastry shop Yann Haute Patisserie! The macarons added the perfect touch of sweetness to compliment my latte!
Read more about them here if you have yet to hit up this sweet spot down Mission!
Chats & a bit about Elle x Latte Art Love:
Elle Nguyen, the creator of this project is a wonderfully sweet and talented woman. I've always known Elle for her online magazine - 'Life Of Elle' and her web company, Code Kitty Designs - however turns out, once upon a time... she was also a barista in a local cafe back in her university years! In the past years she has become increasingly skilled in etching on milk foam and espresso at home after leaving the cafe industry as manager.
Elle, when did you fall in love with latte art ?
While working in university and I was looking for a job, I picked up a shift at the local cafe nearby, and they forced us to do latte art! So they got us over to Fratello Coffee and the brother's taught us how to do proper poured latte art, like the hearts, bunnies and leaves. And then we thought, 'we could make this a lot cooler!' So we spent some time in our cafe making different coffee etches!
What makes LAL special ?
We focus a lot on the coffee preparation because we have to make sure everything is timed perfectly, so that we can have the perfect foam and perfect latte for the customer!
The machine used:
This was an old Starbucks machine, it went on sale for $300, and so I went " How can I not buy this!?" I modified it a little bit, got a new stronger steam head off Ebay; and because it is semi automatic, I can program how big the shots are, and it will remember it everytime! Making my morning's great because it's a press and go!
Speaking of morning's, what's your favourite morning drink?
My morning drink is always a latte with Doctor Who on Tuesdays!
Elle's favourite coffee!?
My favourite ever is the cup of excellence Bolivia in 2010 it is a competition coffee. Bolivia was #10!
Calgary x Latte Art Love what's next?
I think it will blow up, because people enjoy the extra art culture in their cups of coffee. And being able to offer this in an art environment, it's double the pleasure on that!
There are also many barista's out there who believes coffee is more than just work to them, it's a hobby! It's a great opportunity to showcase it at their favourite events
And to wrap up ... a bit about Endeavour Arts Gallery x Friends:
I loved the ambiance of this spacious gallery, they had live painting done by Tammy Fischer, featuring her new series and exhibition. (refer to the pink/blue photo)
In the middle and all around the gallery, they had showcased jewellery, printed by a 3D printer (my first time seeing this in real life!), many different mediums of painting/art and wickedly cool designer chairs. My most intriguing find of the evening was a rectangular box filled with magnetic ink! (refer to the blob photo) It provided a good bit of entertainment between Shelley and I, it reminded me of a lava lamp where I can manipulate how the flow floats!
As an overall, I enjoyed my evening at the gallery between making new friends, catching up with old ones (while sneaking a peak at each other's latte' art done by Elle). I believe in time and having this little Pop Up showcase themselves in various other events around Calgary this summer, it'll be a great addition to the 'Latte Art Culture' that Calgary lacks!
Latte Art Love's next event is going to be at The Splash Fashion Show in Calgary on July 12th. For more information on that, click here.
See you around!
+ Click here to see where the ESP team and friends went to after this event! Japanese x Italian fusion nom nom nom!