Latte art is popular among the barista trade; videos show master baristas adorning their cappuccinos with creative and sometimes whimsical designs in milk: flowers, holiday symbols, even a skull and crossbones — but does this really help you sell more coffee? (note: latte is the direct translation of milk and should not be confused with the Americanized slang for a Cafe Latte (coffee milk) beverage)

The short answer is YES and will increase the value of coffees you serve but only if done well. Latte art has the potential of impacting a customer’s perception of quality for the better if well executed. Latte art should be reserved as the crowning achievement of a skilled barista’s abilities and not practiced in a commercial environment until that barista can consistently demonstrate the quick and correct execution of a proper traditional drink with minimal waste.

A well-formed traditional cappuccino is more difficult to create than most people expect; obtaining the correct color distribution, foam density, foam consistency, temperature and flavor is not an easy task but when done correctly, it is a far more beautiful sight than a design gimmick.