Café au Art

A latte designed with the Smith and Ratliff logo

Everyone loves going to a café, ordering a latte and being presented with a lovely heart or flower etched in foam on top. Aside from looking beautiful, the latte art signifies that the milk has been properly steamed and that your drink was made with love. Some baristas go for the just the bare minimum, while others use the cup as a canvas.

My friend, New York City-based artist and barista at The Breslin, Mike Breach, has a gift for being able to do just about anything with a cup of espresso and milk.

A bear etched in foam in a latte

Laura and I had the pleasure of watching him create a few different designs for us a few days ago. From animals, works of art, rock stars and presidents, Mike amazed us with each one. He even did a portrait of our dog, Iggy Pop!

How much more fun would waking up be if one of these adorned your cup every morning?

- Ryan

Iggy Pop, our Brussels Griffon, draw in latte art in NYC

President Barack Obama made into latte art in NYC cafe

A horse drawn into latte foam

Gene Simmons of KISS as latte art

A piece of latte art in the style of NYC artist Keith Haring


  1. megaman
    Feb 03, 2012 @ 23:40:39

    Freddie @ Spice Market is also a pretty phenomenal Barista.


  2. Coffee « cuentoscantabria
    Feb 05, 2012 @ 10:06:57

    […] is in order. A place where the barista is friendly and a little hippy looking, where the coffee is lovingly prepared and has been roasted carefully and professionally, where the chairs to sit are comfortable and […]


  3. Diana @ Appetite for China
    Feb 08, 2012 @ 23:01:37

    That is amazing! Especially love the horse and Keith Haring ones. Does he do that for every latte at the Breslin?


    • Smith & Ratliff
      Feb 10, 2012 @ 17:15:12

      Not for every single one (sometimes they get so busy sometimes!), but he does send out the occasional surprise. Did you check out his site too? -LR


  4. Diana @ Appetite for China
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 17:52:50

    Thanks for the link! Love the Prince latte. Hopefully I can catch them during the slower parts of the day.


  5. TASTE
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 20:42:23

    These are awesome! What a wonderful talent.


  6. Jennifer M.
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 21:07:23

    Wow these are so cool! Thanks for sharing. :)


  7. Hannah
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 21:22:02

    These are AMAZING.


  8. Jocelyn
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 22:19:39



  9. Decorator Witch
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 02:32:15

    Uber cute! I wouldn’t say no to such a delightful taste&view right now! (sighs)


  10. H*
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 04:49:27

    I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Kisses from Spain


  11. Nomadic D
    Feb 19, 2012 @ 03:57:36

    Wow, these are amazing! I found you via Cup of Jo, and I’m so glad I did!


  12. Honorata
    Feb 19, 2012 @ 04:15:22

    I love coffee, the pictures are art!!!


  13. Amanda
    Feb 19, 2012 @ 10:31:08

    Have you (or he) thought about turning these into prints? I would love to hang the last one in my kitchen.


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  16. Kasia
    Feb 20, 2012 @ 02:53:48

    So cute, coffe tastes better with an adorable picture on top :)


  17. Eva {not your mama's dinner}
    Feb 20, 2012 @ 16:44:46

    One word: Crazy!


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  19. Charity Poole
    Feb 21, 2012 @ 19:04:54

    That’s incredible! Think he could do that with a Guinness as well? ;)


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