Daphne Tan, a 17-year-old artist from Singapore, creates 3D coffee foam that everyone loves on lattes.
Her works have been a big hit on Instagram, and it’s not hard to see why. Her designs usually depict adorable animals and objects – such as dolphins, puppies, giraffes, and even fidget spinners and pizzas.
At times, the foam even dangles precariously out of the mug, making it look like the characters are hanging out, literally.
Tan treats her cup of coffee much like a canvas. Using a milk frother, carob powder, and soy milk, she forms a thick foam as the base shape, then adds natural food colouring and melted chocolate to make details like faces and fur patterns.
It only takes the teenager some 10 to 20 minutes to finish each caffeinated creation.
That’s impressive – considering she only started practicing the craft a year ago. Even more astounding is that she’s already made a name for herself in the industry, even holding a demo at the 2017 Singapore Coffee Festival.
We recently got in touch with Tan to find out more about her and her 3D latte art.
How did you get started in making 3D latte art?
“After attending a gourmet appreciation coffee workshop through a school programme, I was intrigued by how the foam for a latte or cappuccino was created. I then searched for ways to do it at home without fancy equipment and I discovered 3D latte art!”
What was the first latte sculpture you made?
“The first sculpture I made was two bears in a cup! As you can see, I was far from proficient in shaping the foam. It actually didn’t take too long to gain control over the foam, it took around three attempts!”
Tell us more about your creative process. How do you come up with the designs? Where do you turn to for inspiration?
“I usually gain inspiration from what I see around me day-to-day or actually just by googling ‘cute animals’. There are some professional baristas who do 3D latte art as well, and they’re also a great source of inspiration.”
Out of all the latte art you’ve made, which one’s your favourite?
“I really like this one as there’s an interactive element!”
What’s your dream creative project?
“I’ve thought about working with film agencies to promote upcoming movies by creating themed latte art for them. But actually creating themed latte art for any company would be something that could be a greater challenge!”
Any good tips and advice for those who want to start making 3D latte art too?
“Patience is integral and it can actually be done at home with a regular capsule coffee machine and a milk frother!”