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The Art of Lattes...And Life
But as creative as I thought I was, the truth was: my lattes always looked like plain old cups of sad boring beige. Try as I might, I never figured out how to make those lovely leafy designs that elevate a coffee into a liquid work of art. I love them, though, and as it turns out, I'm not the only one: there is actually a World Latte Art Competition. As Jeshurun Webb writes for Salon.com this week, the judges at this competition assess the milky masterpieces based on the following criteria: "Balance and Symmetry (dividing lines are even and show no hesitation), Harmony (between the size of the cup and the size and position of the design), Clarity of Design (contrast), Quality of Milk Texture (yes, it takes a lot of practice to perfectly texture milk)."
It's not just my fiendish need for caffeine that makes this list sound like poetry, right? Because these are qualities I'd like to have in everything I do. Balance and Symmetry? I love the idea that creating something beautiful involves showing "no hesitation" It's all about doing things with confidence, whether it's presenting at a meeting or painting a picture or creating a cup of coffee. Harmony? May we all match the scope of our creations to the size of our cups, so to speak. Clarity of design? May we all have vision (please). Even the phrase "quality of milk texture" seems to me to apply to everything—because shouldn't we all master whatever materials we choose to work with?
Plenty of us toil away at jobs that, like slinging java, don't immediately suggest creativity, but we can all strive to achieve balance and symmetry, harmony and clarity, in every day. Even the dullest task can become a canvas. I wish I'd been able to see this while I was sullenly concocting endless cappuccinos myself, but that's okay—when it comes to my day-to-day now, there's no end to mundane tasks that I can try to make creative. Here I come, Slow Cooker Casserole Art Competition!
You must see the rosettes gathered on the Salon site, which are displayed alongside the barsita/artists' signatures, as a study of line quality.
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