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Korean Barista Turns Cups of Coffee into Incredible Works of Art

The latte art scene in Korea is growing at an astonishing rate, and young Lee Kang Bin is one of the talented baristas spearheading the movement. The masterful designs he is able to freehand on cups of latte have earned him tens of thousands of fans on Instagram as well as a judge’s seat at numerous latte art competitions around the world.

Armed only with a thin metal rod and a palette of food dyes, Lee Kang Bin can turn a bland cup of latte into a stunning masterpiece. From drinkable recreations of famous paintings, like Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”, to detailed cartoon characters and portraits, there’s virtually nothing he can’t draw on milk foam.

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Pop-Out Coffee – The 3D Latte Art of Kohei Matsuno

Latte art has become very popular in recent years, with more and more talented baristas using the fragile milk foam as a miniature canvas for their artworks, but Japan’s Kohei Matsuno is already taking the delicate art form to a whole new level with his amazing 3D latte masterpieces.

Kohei Matsuno used to work in an Osaka restaurant where he used latte art to surprise his clients. However, he noticed people are not so easily impressed with the usual designs on their cups of caffeinated beverages anymore, so he decided to step up his game. He had become an expert at creating traditional Japanese landscapes, popular manga characters and realistic portraits on milk foam, but he still felt restricted by the flat surface of his delicious canvas. To make things really interested he began using large amounts of milk foam to design all kinds of cute shapes, decorating them with with a sharp utensil, usually a toothpick. This ingenious trick has made Kohei one of the most popular latte artists in Japan. Using the alias “Mattsun”, the young barista now spends his days taking ideas from his fans and turning them into delicious reality.

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Talented Young Artist Paints with Used Coffee Grounds

21-year-old Vincent Francisco Navarro, from Baguio City, Philippines, is an emerging visual artist who uses ground coffee as the main medium of his art. He collects used coffee grounds and recycles them as paint, thus giving the waste product new value and purpose through aesthetics.

The city of Baguio produces around 300 tons of garbage every day, and authorities are still looking for environment-friendly ways of storing and disposing of the waste. Local artist and environmentalist Vincent Navarro decided to do his part by proving recycling can be of great help against the build-up of garbage in an ingenious way. After doing extensive research he started exploring the possibility of creating beautiful works of art with coffee grounds collected from a large gourmet coffee chain. He spent ten months creating portraits of coffee farmers from the Benguet region of the Philippines, using nothing but coffee and used grounds. Inspired by the months his spent as a volunteer aiding coffee farmers in Benguet and Cordillera, Navarro created his works as tributes to the “toil and sweat” these hard-working people put into growing “the best-tasting and rich coffee beans”.

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Ultimate Latte Art: Taiwanese Cafe Prints Your Portrait on a Cup of Coffee

If you’ve ever wanted to drink your own face, now’s your chance. Taiwanese cafe chain, Let’s Cafe, uses a special latte printer that creates portraits of customers directly on their delicious caffeinated drinks.

Let’s Cafe is a chain of small kiosks offering “fast but good coffee” to shoppers on the go all around Taiwan. Faced with the challenge of competing with larger more established cafe chains, they had to come up with a truly original gimmick in order to attract customers. Let’s Cafe needed something not even big players like Starbucks could compete with, and they found it in the ridiculously accurate coffee printing machine. All users have to do is upload a photo from their mobile phone to the coffee dispenser machine and after the cup has been filled with the caffeinated beverage of their choice, the incorporated printer uses edible ink to sprinkle their photo on the milk foam. While talented latte artists do a great job of creating beautiful designs using rudimentary tools and a steady hand, there are certain limitations to their techniques, whereas this coffee printer is able to produce photo-realistic images.

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The Drinkable Masterpieces of a Japanese Anime Latte Artist

If you’re a fan of coffee and Japanese anime, you’re going to love these amazingly detailed latte portraits of famous Japanese cartoon characters. They are the creations of Twitter user, Sugi, who only started doing latte art a year ago.

I’m a big fan of coffee art, whether it’s executed directly on a cup of joe or on a canvas, using the delicious medium as paint, so when I saw these incredible works of anime art I just couldn’t resist sharing them with you guys. If you thought latte hearts and leaves were cool, Sugi’s designs are probably going to blow your mind. The talented Japanese barista only took up coffee art last April, but she is already able to create unbelievable portraits of anime characters like Sailor Moon or Naruto in stunning detail. Using only toothpicks, chocolate syrup for the dark areas and cocktail syrups for the other colors, Sugi hand-draws two-three of her beautiful artworks every day. So far, she has created over 800 latte masterpieces, and posted photos of them on her Twitter page.

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Modern Espressionist Creates Amazing Latte Portraits

New York City barista Mike Breach uses a toothpick as a brush to create beautiful portraits into his tasty lattes. From Albert Einstein to rapper Jay Z, it seems like there’s no face this self-proclaimed “espressionist” can’t draw on coffee.

Today Mike Breach is well-known coffee artist, with a big following on social sharing sites like Tumblr, but only a year ago he was just another barista working in a hotel kitchen surrounded by espresso machines. He was “so, so bored” that he started drawing things on coffee just to pass the time. Armed with a toothpick he realized he could manipulate the coffee foam and milk to create all kinds of designs. He started by doing hearts on his cups and people got really excited about it, so he kept on practicing and came up with adorable teddy bears, and even a portrait of the hotel boss. At first he didn’t think he could ever draw faces into his lattes, but his skills gradually improved to the point where he’s now able to create detailed celebrity portraits. The fact that his artworks only last for a few minutes only makes them more personal. “I kind of want to be like Willy Wonka with coffee- make it interesting and fun for people; take the pretentiousness out of it, take the seriousness out of it,” Mike says.

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Self-Taught Amateur Artist Paints with Ground Coffee and a Pinch of Sand

Alexander Wald works as a plumber in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, but in his spare time he likes to exercise his artistic talents by painting with unusual mediums like ground coffee and sand.

Painting with coffee is not exactly unheard of. Artists like Karen Eland and Steven Mikel have been doing it for years, and even coffee beans have been used as an artistic material in an impressive mosaic by Saimir Strati. But until I came across Alexander Wald’s works, I had never heard of anyone using ground coffee. The Ukrainian amateur artist makes a living working as a plumber at the Lviv Circus, but most of his free time is spent creating unique works of art from dried coffee residue and sand. He drinks 2-3 cups of coffee a day, and instead of throwing away the coffee grounds on the bottom of his cup, he dries them and uses them as an art medium. His colleagues pitch in as well, otherwise Alexander would actually have to buy fresh ground coffee. This way, he enjoys his morning cups of java and has plenty of free material to work with. The self-taught artist says any kind of coffee will do, except for instant coffee, which doesn’t produce any leftover grounds.

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Awesome Mosaic Is Made of Over 1 Million Coffee Beans

Measuring nearly 30 square meters, The Awakening mosaic recently unveiled in Gorky Park, Moscow, set a new world record for the largest coffee bean mosaic.

It’s not very often that you get to see artworks as impressive as the one created by Russian artist Arkadi Kim. He and his team spent around two weeks working on the impressive mosaic, weighing the coffee beans, roasting them to achieve the desired color tones and placing them at just the right spot on the giant panel set up in Gorky Park. Believe it or not, this unique piece of art is made of 1 million coffee beans, weighing an impressive 180 kg (397 pounds). Entitled “The Awakening”, it shows the detailed visage of a girl and alluring coffee aroma making its way to her nose.

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6 Talented Artists Who Paint with Coffee

We’ve done several stories of artists painting with mediums like wine and coffee. Coffee paintings in particular, convey the rich brown tones associated with the beverage, which leads to the creation of  unique, very beautiful images. So brew yourself a cup of your favorite coffee and join us as we take you through the works of some world-famous coffee painters.

Coffee Art

Angel Sarkela-Saur and Andrew Saur, together call themselves the Coffee Artists. For over a decade, they have been painting with coffee and have managed to develop a unique technique of layering coffee on the canvas . Their works include paintings of ordinary, everyday objects, portrayed in the rich hues of the coffee bean. Interestingly, a lot of their paintings have coffee cups, pots and beans in them. The two definitely seem to have a thing for the dark beverage.

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Mind-Blowing Portrait Created from Thousands of Coffee Stains

Just weeks after she took the Internet by storm with her incredible portrait of Yao Ming, created only with a basketball and red paint, Malaysian artist Hong Yi strikes again, this time with a realistic rendition of Taiwanese singer Jay Chou made with coffee stains.

The young artist begins her unusual creative process by taking a sip of coffee. Like most of us, she spills some of it in the small saucer and that apparently inspires her to use the dirty bottom of the cup to start a sepia tone masterpiece. At first the coffee cup stains look just like the ones you can spot on table cloths in cheap restaurants, but as she progresses, her work starts to take shape. First you can make out the outline of the head, then the nose and mouth, the eyes, and before you know it you’re staring at a realistic portrait of Jay Chou made with coffee stains, and struggling to lift your jaw off the floor.

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Designers Recreate Double Coffee Logo from Coffee

Latvian coffee shop chain, Double Coffee, celebrated the opening of its second venue in Moscow, Russia, by creating a giant mosaic of its logo, from cups of coffee.

The event took place on June 18, on Old Arbat Street, in Moscow, where a group of designers armed with clipboards started arranging plastic cups of coffee right on the pavement. No one really knew what they planned to do, at first, but as their work started to take shape, everyone recognized the logo of coffee shop chain Double Coffee. To celebrate their second Moscow venue, right on Old Arbat Street, they used 3,300 cups, 220 liters of coffee and 120 liters of milk to recreate the brand logo. To finish the job, the young designers sprinkled ground coffee around the logo to keep the cups together. It’s not clear what happened with all the coffee once the tasty installation was dismantled, but I’m sure the curious crowd that gathered around it was more than happy to help clear the street.

A similar coffee mosaic of the Mona Lisa was created two years ago, in Sydney, Australia, using 3,603 cups of coffee and 564 pints of milk.

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The Unique Coffee Art of Karen Eland

Karen Eland, a talented sketch artists and painter from Tulsa, uses only espresso to recreate some of the most famous paintings in history.

Karen’s talent and her love for coffee created a unique art-form that propelled her to celebrity status on the internet and TV shows. As an art student she used to practice her skills in coffee shops, seeping espressos. One day, as she was watching red-brown coffee pouring into her cup, she realized her favorite drink could be a part of her art.

That’s how it all started and over the years she became a master at blending layers upon layers of espresso and creating beautiful coffee-scented masterpieces. Some might find Karen Eland‘s way of blending a cup of coffee in her paintings offensive, but I think it makes for a perfect trademark.

Photos via Gizmodo

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