Cream Artist Uses Lattes As His Canvas

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latte art

Latte Art

Lee Kang-bin of Seoul, South Korea, has become Instagram famous for his latte art inspired by movies, TV shows, books, and pop culture.

The 26-year-old barista creates all of his artwork freehand on top of the frothy milk of lattes. He uses just a thin metal rod and food dye to carefully color the foam, weaving cute characters and portraying popular icons.


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He’s created milky replicas of such masterpieces as Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night, and Edvard Munch’s The Scream—the soft frothiness of the foam lending itself well to their impressionist styles. Utilizing the contrast between bright dyes and the pure-white milk, he’s also able to bring colorful scenes from Disney movies to life.

A coffee at Kang-bin’s shop costs 10,000 won—about nine dollars—and takes him just 15 minutes to complete. The artist has to work fast, in order to ensure the coffee is still hot enough by the time the customer drinks it.

Practicing for over a decade, Kang-bin has become a celebrity in the latte art world, judging competitions and even taking on young barista pupils. His craft is entirely self-taught. He began serving coffee when he was 17. At the time he was enrolled in South Korea’s compulsory military training. He bought a coffee machine and began service to help his fellow soldiers out.


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latte art spread

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