A recent study revealed that consumers are willing to pay more for coffees that are embellished with art, and even believe they will taste better than regular lattes. This idea that creativity can be (and is) consumed is one that Toronto baristas are perfecting.
First becoming popular in Seattle in the 1980s, latte art is the product of combining espresso with crema and microfoam and is developed either by free pouring or etching with tools. Here are five cafés in the Greater Toronto Area that are producing outstanding works of latte art.
Himalayan Coffee House
Himalayan Coffee House is taking the latte art trend and making it the focus of their small café near Yonge and Eglinton. The front windows of the shop are decorated with the photos of different creations produced by the talented baristas inside. Unicorns, Bart Simpson, Rosie the Riveter – they’ve all been done. Check out their Instagram account for a gallery of their outstanding work.
Himalayan Coffee House, 2552 Yonge St, Toronto, Canada, + 1 416 485 6464
Tokyo Smoke is a small but mighty café tucked away off Adelaide St with a shipping container elegantly built into the storefront. It has an industrial vibe, with a variety of options to satisfy any caffeine lover, from Canadian coffee sweetened with maple syrup, to a crème brulee latte. Their resident Barista Brian has been concocting whimsical latte creations, and even received a shout out via Instagram from John Legend. He is famous for creating portraits of customers and surreal paintings.
Located in the heart of Markham, Initium Co is a quirky café nestled inside a hair salon, and has blown up on Instagram due to their photogenic drinks. This include the cotton candy latte, and toasted marshmallow mocha. But, people are really flocking to this spot for their next-level latte art. Before you go, be sure to download the free App called Coffee Ripples. Once you have the app, you can select any image from your camera roll, select “Initium Co” from locations, and your latte will come out with your picture imposed on top the coffee foam. The possibilities are endless!
Initium Co, 8241 Woodbine Ave #6, Markham, Canada, + 1 905 947 8880
Fahrenheit Coffee now has three locations in Toronto, all with knowledgeable, friendly staff. Customers have the choice of beans from three different espresso origins, and baristas are highly skilled at making colourful creations—from yellow sunflowers, to green four-leaf clovers—on the foam. Check out their Instagram for a gallery of impressive work.
Fahrenheit Coffee, 120 Lombard St, Toronto, Canada, + 1 647 896 1774
Dark Horse Espresso Bar
Dark Horse Espresso Bar is one of Toronto’s first indie coffee houses, and now has six locations throughout the downtown area. Dark Horse offers a variety of baked goods from muffins, cookies and delicious sandwiches, but what drives people to their locations is the coffee (obviously!). Dark Horse has proven themselves as the go-to for classic and clean latte art. Here, you will find swans, hearts and leaves adorning the foam of every cup that is ordered.
Dark Horse Espresso Bar, 401 Richmond St W, Toronto, Canada, + 1 647 748 7700