Kitty in a coffee cup

One of Kazuki Yamamoto’s coffee creations (all images courtesy Kazuki Yamamoto)

It’s Friday afternoon, so what better way to wind down your work week than with a delightful cappuccino or latte? Crafting delicate leaves or willowy hearts is something of a coffee art standard, but a barista in Japan is sculpting designs that creep out in three dimensions from the coffee foam.

One of Kazuki Yamamoto’s creations

Kazuki Yamamoto uses just a pin, a spoon, and infinite patience (while ideally, not allowing for the coffee to get cold) to turn the frothed milk into smiling cats that bound from one cup to the next to bat at goldfish, long-necked giraffes, rabbits hunting carrots, and anime characters. The barista makes this highly ephemeral coffee art at Cafe 10g in Osaka, and he regularly updates his Twitter with the newest, always evolving latte art. (For example, a recent photograph showed a Dali clock dripping over the side of a mug.)

Coffee art in Japan is definitely on another level, with the beloved Kawaii cuteness spilling over into lattes and cappuccinos (hopefully not literally, would be sad for the little creatures to tumble out in an amoebic collapse). For example, there’s Nowtoo Sugi who adds color to her latte art focused on a parade of cartoon and anime characters, and Kohei Matsuno replicating famous faces, and even works of art.  And the turning of these little mounds of coffee into foam is a type of art, as even if it vanishes with a sip, it’s nothing if not a way for turning the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Here are some favorites by Kazuki Yamamoto:

A couple of Kazuki Yamamoto’s coffee arts

Creature emerging from a coffee lagoon

Cat reaching for some goldfish

Cat coffee friends

Kazuki Yamamoto also has a deft hand with the two-dimensional coffee art

Click here to view more of Kazuki Yamamoto’s three-dimensional coffee art.

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Allison Meier

Allison C. Meier is a former staff writer for Hyperallergic. Originally from Oklahoma, she has been covering visual culture and overlooked history for print...

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