At Latte Art Love... Elle made the smoothest latte' I have ever tasted in my life so far!
- Esther Lam
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. 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.
More on the evening ...
When I finally managed to find the place, (I'm not the most keen on directions) I was greeted by a cute little pomeranian chihuahua and two young ladies who offered me to take a look at their drink menu, it consisted of an array of different lattes, espresso, teas and even chai ! Both caffeinated and non caffeinated options available. It was a tough pick between wanting to feel a tad too hyper with caffeine in the evening, or to enjoy a calming tea latte. I ended up getting a very smooth, rich and creamy cup of earl grey latte with Darth Vader as the etch! (Yes the theme of the night was Star Wars and Doctor Who!) Below are some photos of the etching! By the end of the night she even showed me a step by step on how to make the perfect cup of latte, how to tell if the coffee is quality and etched out a Pikachu!
PS: my favourite little French Pastry Shop Yann Haute Patisserie supported this event with macarons!
Read more about them here if you have yet to hit up this sweet spot down Mission!
Chats with Elle x Latte Art Love:
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.
Endeavour Arts Gallery x Friends:
I loved the ambiance of this spacious gallery, they had live painting done by Tammy Fischer, we had the chance to see her finish one of her painting features in her new 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!
Photo credits for the evening:
Esther Lam | Shelley Leung | Paul Spenard