Latte Art with Ed Griffin

Ed Griffin competes at the U.S. Coffee Championship Qualifiers in Denver with the Nasty Jug.

Last year, Ed took third in the U.S. Latte Art Championship. This year, they will be taking on the national stage again at the championships in Portland, OR, on April 21-23. With a humble personality, you would never know that Ed has a decade of experience in the coffee industry, is an accomplished competitor, and has a large community on social media following their latte art. You will find Ed behind the bar at Messenger Coffee in Kansas City, doing what they love the most. We had a chance to catch up with Ed digitally to talk about training for competition, latte art tips, and how to get started.

Brewista: Tell us about your most memorable moments in your coffee journey, and what ignited your love of latte art. 

Griffin: It’s always been a people industry, it’s not the journey but the friends you make along the way, all of whom have deeply impacted me. My love for latte art was ignited by intrinsic curiosity pertaining to the mechanics of it, it’s an art form that’s almost close to magic.

Congrats on killing it at the Baltimore Qualifiers! How do you prep for competitions as big as the Nationals? 

Griffin: Thank you! Nationals specifically will receive about two weeks of strategic focus and light practice followed by two weeks of more rigorous and repetitive training.

Latte art created with the Nasty Jug. Photo credit: Ed Griffin

Our readers can get really serious about coffee, and we’re curious to get some of your insights. What are your top 3 tips when it comes to latte art?

Griffin: Here are my 3 insights:

  1. The degradation of espresso and steamed milk happens incredibly rapidly. Letting either ingredient sit for more than several seconds will have a large impact on your art.
  2. Latte art is more about pure technique than anything else. Be open to changing yours often, and your art will flourish.
  3. If you’re not seeing progress you may be working with a machine, coffee, or milk that, through inferior quality, limits your ability to make latte art. It can be easy to get frustrated with stagnation, but if you’re aware of said issue you can at least take solace in the fact that said stagnation is through no fault of your own.

Latte art created with the Nasty Jug. Photo credit: Ed Griffin

For those who are interested in dipping their toes into latte art, where should they start? What pattern do you recommend?

Griffin: Starting with hearts will allow for the quickest progress, as it is the most basic form of latte art.

Where can we find you and follow your latte art  journey?

Griffin: @milkyfinesse on Instagram and TikTok :)

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