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Watch a Barista Make Crazy Detailed Portraits in Lattes

Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

Here's a look at how barista Mike Breach makes stunningly detailed portraits in lattes. In this Storyboard video, Tumblr meets Breach at Smile To-Go in New York City, where he whips up impressive pictures of celebrities and skylines using only espresso, steamed milk, and a bamboo cocktail pick. "I kind of want to be like Willy Wonka with coffee," Breach explains, "make it something interesting and fun for people, take the pretentious out of it, take the seriousness out of it."

Breach stumbled into his craft while he was bored working as a barista in a hotel; a lack of customers left him free to hone his skills without interruption. Now a self-proclaimed "espressionist," Breach posts photos of his ephemeral creations on his Tumblr Baristart. Below, steamed milk wizardry.

Video: The Fine Art of Coffee Portraiture

· The Fine Art of Coffee Portraiture [Tumblr]
· All Coffee Coverage on Eater [-E-]