For the first time, I received an invite to a blogger’s event. Krups Marketing emailed me to attend the Latte Art Workshop at Landmark Trinoma on November 5, 2011. I gladly accepted and brought with me my friend, Rhoda. The main sponsor of the event is Krups. The chairs were set up in a semi-circular angle, facing this humongous Christmas tree. Just beside this Christmas tree were three long tables covered with white linens. Outside the conference area were some stalls where you can get free taste of the products from the other sponsors such as Tim Tam, Jif, Smuckers, Folgers, and Meadow fresh milk.
At 2:36 PM (damn right I checked the time) the show started rolling. It was hosted by Anton De Gracia, not sure who he is so I googled him and what do you know, he’s a radio D.J.! No wonder he speaks well. Anyway, the latte art workshop, as they called it, was headed by Chef Michael Ross Canlas, a barista instructor at the Philippine Barista & Coffee Academy (PBCA). He was assisted by two baristas, Adhler Miko Simangan and Kevin Israel Fortu who are by the way, the champions in the Barista category of the Manila Food and Beverage Expo (MAFBEX) 2011. And may I add that they are my school mates as I am also a product of Lyceum of the Philippines University (just saying!)
There were other bloggers invited to the event and they were wise enough to pick seats that had a better view of the presentation. Rhoda and I, on the other hand, weren’t so lucky. We were on the front row alright, but we were so far from the long table where Chef Michael did the workshop that I couldn’t get a decent shot. That and the fact that I was only carrying a camera phone, unlike the other bloggers who had digicams. It was one of those moments when I just wanted to curl up in a ball and wait for the world to end. Yeah I know, I need to invest on a good camera.
Anyway, the heart of the workshop is coffee art, my first exposure of such was in a Korean series, “Coffee Prince.” Coffee art was popularized in the US by David Schomer from Seattle. It is the art of making designs on the coffee using milk,
“In coffee art, your canvass is coffee and the ink is the milk.” – Chef Michael.
To do it you need a coffee with good crema (made from coffee’s natural oil) and textured milk micro. Somewhere in the middle of his speech he asked the audience if they know the difference between latte and cappuccino. There were a few who shared their ideas, but nobody guessed it right. So Chef Michael explained,
“Latte is served in 10-ounce cup and has more milk while cappuccino is served in 6-ounce cup.”
Now there are two types of latte art; free pouring and etching. Free pouring is when you tilt the cup while pouring the milk. The design forms (usually a rosetta) by wiggling the pitcher from side to side. It’s a bit tricky and you need to do it quickly to achieve the desired effect. Etching, on the other hand, is a lot easier (well at least based on what I’d observed from some members of the audience who tried their hands on it) but you need two more materials, a stirrer and chocolate syrup.
Chef Michael did different designs, such as butterfly, snowman, swan, bear, strings of hearts, etc. Again sorry for the poor quality of the picture.
As mentioned above, Anton called some people from the audience for a chance to try latte art. Some designs were pretty good despite the fact they’d been made by first timers while some looked like they’d been made by pre-schoolers.
After the latte art, Chef Michael shared some cold coffee recipes such as Irish Cream Latte, Banana Nut Mocha, Iced Haze Nut Latte, Peanut Butter Mocha, and Cookies and Cream. They also had a raffle where they gave away gift packs from their sponsors, unfortunately, Rhoda and I weren’t lucky to be picked.
The event was simple, but it was really fun. Too bad Rhoda and I weren’t called to participate in the latte art, it would have been fun if I had a chance to try it, just to know if I have a potential or if I should just totally forget about it. Still, I was happy to be invited in the event, and I hope there’d be more like this.