Latte art is nothing new to the barista scene, and if you love frequenting boutique coffee shops in your city, you've probably watched as your favorite coffee connoisseur elevated your latte with a flick of the wrist.
While swans and hearts are impressive when you consider the medium, Melannie Aquino's take on the trend isn't your average approach to latte art. After watching a friend draw intricate designs on cups of hot chocolate one day, Aquino decided to give it a go. Her first attempts were a little shaky, but after four years of hard work replete with countless trials and subsequent errors, she developed a style that's as adorable as it is impressive.
In five minutes or less, the San Francisco-based creator turns simple lattes into works of art that are too pretty to drink without a twinge of guilt.
"I begin by pouring milk into a shot of espresso," she explained to BoredPanda. "I use a spoon to manipulate the foam into the shape of what I want to draw."
In her words, "You need a marriage of the perfect espresso and microfoam in order to get the right contrast and bring out the little details."
She does intricate line work with chocolate and uses contrasting colors and textures in her favor.
The resulting pieces are beautiful, whimsical, and totally delicious.
"The reactions on customers' faces are the most rewarding parts of my job," she writes. "A lot of people become regulars and it pushes me to do different designs and to do better."
As you can imagine, her unique approach to the craft has successfully set her apart from the rest, and it's garnered quite a bit of attention online.
She sketches and paints from time to time, but as she explained to Mashable, "I don't really have aspirations in pursuing art outside the realm of latte art." That being said, she does have a coffee table book in the works that will bring her creations in front of an even larger audience.