Wake Up Call

Watch This New York City Barista Draw Tiny, Intricate Foam Portraits in Lattes

There's plenty of art-related reasons to make a trip to the Big Apple. It's got the Guggenheim, the Met, and MoMA. And the City That Never Sleeps now is home to the king of latte-art portraiture, Mike Breach.

See also: - The Coffee Chop Kicks Off Coffee Class Series at Crepe Bar in Tempe - Coffee Academy in Tempe Offers Courses for the Aspiring Barista

If you like peering into a cup of foam-covered espresso and finding a lovely little leaf, then wait till you see this guy's work. We're talking cup-size portraits of celebs and a four-latte-long skyline of foam.

Breach says he perfected his craft when he was working at a hotel. As any one who's ever worked a boring job knows, down time can lead to plenty of interesting discoveries. For Breach, that discovery was a knack for creating latte foam portraits. He currently works at Smile to Go, a coffee and sandwich shop in NoHo (that's "North of Houston Street" in Manhattan, natch), where you can catch him slinging lattes with all sorts of art on the side.

If you're not planning on heading East anytime soon, you can check out his work on his Tumblr, Bartiart.

In the video above, Breach says he wants to be like "Willy Wonka with coffee," and it seems he has the right amount of creativity and skill to make that dream come true. If you scroll through the Tumblr, you'll find he's done portraits of everyone from Britney Spears to Yoda and other Star Wars characters. He makes the art with a cocktail toothpick and says each design takes him about three minutes to create.

By the way, the video comes from the Tumblr Storyboard project, which launched last year as a way for the blogging company to highlight some of its best sites. You can check out more videos at the Storyboard Tumblr.

And if you're interested in learning some awesome latte expressionism for yourself, there are a few coffee education opportunities right here in the Valley. The International Barista Coffee Academy offers one-day barista courses for $595 a person through April, and Phoenix's own Coffee Chop, Perry Czopp, is kicking off a coffee-class series at Crepe Bar in Tempe later this month.

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Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria