I sit down to birds chirping and horses snorting. The rush of getting the kids and husband off to school and work is over. I have brewed a hot, welcoming cup of coffee and I sit down now with it to enjoy the calm. I have been waiting for this moment. I imagine myself sitting in the quiet, drinking and smiling.

My coffee is terrible. It tastes like bitter mud. I turn my coffee into a latte with half a cup of milk and I still can’t drink it. I can’t figure out if I just keep getting the measurements wrong or if I really just don’t like coffee. I want to like it! I love the feel of coffee, holding a warm and inviting mug, knowing that I’ll feel so much more awake in a little while. But I finally admit to myself that it’s pretty gross. This is so not the blissful moment I was building up in my mind while I made lunches. What am I going to do with the rest of the brew?

There is an artform of creating designs in a latte. Talented latte art flowerspirate coffee artbaristas “draw” in the shot of espresso by pouring the milk foam in a pattern, or by etching a pattern with a stick after the pour. Designs can range from simple hearts to complicated portraits of people or animals. There is even an annual world latte art competition. This year’s winner was Arnon Thitiprasert from Thailand. Here are his works (a few minutes after judging, so not as pristine):

latte competition art winner

Really cool! Not something I can attempt since I can’t even make a normal cup of coffee. There is another form of coffee art, though. It is painting with coffee and coffee grinds. Artists use brushes, toothpicks, and fingers to spread coffee stains into incredible pictures. Here are a few examples from Giulia Bernardelli and Ghidaq al-Nizar that I really love:

Guilia Bernardelli coffee art Ghidaq al-Nizar music coffee Ghidaq al-Nizar coffee

I decide that my cup of coffee would be better spread on a piece of paper than in my belly so I give coffee art a go. I spill coffee on some watercolor paper and try to make drawings out of the splotches. It is good practice to stretch my imagination. I hope you enjoy my first attempts at the dark (brown) arts.

coffee art splotches
Coffee art: Before
coffee splotch turned into a parachuter
Coffee art: After

coffee art houses


Marla Bender

A Fresh Cup of Coffee
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3 thoughts on “A Fresh Cup of Coffee

  • June 28, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Nice blog Marla! I hope you are doing well and not missing us too much:)

  • June 28, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Very clever! There are clearly countless ways of making art as long as you have an imagination !


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