Daily Marauder



Christopher Alameda

Photo & Pour Credit: Chris Alameda (Intelligentsia/Venice, CA)

A couple of nights ago, after a long digi-action-packed day at Digital Hollywood, I rolled up at my friend Sirin’s house for some yummie dinner. I was shocked and delightfully surprised to find Pro-Pourer Christopher Alameda from Intelligentsia in the house. As a former New Yorker, I expect over-cooked pasta or grilled cheese when invited over for dinner. As we all know, New Yorkers hardly use their stoves. OK…you know I’m talking about the ‘hattan. Anyways, the first thing that threw me for a loop was the rack of lamb simmering away in the oven. The second, was the fact that I knew incredible coffee was to be coming my way post- dinner.

But, let me back up for a second. Over the past year, I have slowly become more and more passionate about my coffee brew experience. It started when I visited Ritual in San Francisco and sought out the Clover machine experience. All I knew about the Clover was was that it was developed by a guy from Ideo, but then again, that’s all I needed to know really.

Ritual Daily Marauder

Ritual/San Francisco, CA

Later, I also took a visit to Blue Bottle Coffee, also in San Francisco, and checked out the filter drip method of serving coffee.

Blue Bottle Daily Marauder

Blue Bottle Coffee/San Francisco, CA

Back home in NYC, I settled in with some local coffee favorites, including by far my #1, Gimme Coffee in Brooklyn. On any given week day or night, you would have found me computer-deep at Gimme Coffee with latte in hand while I was living in New York (I’ve since moved to LA).   My obsession with Gimme was dual purpose really. I loved their coffee…and I wanted to become the mayor on Foursquare. (All those who claim on 4Square that I cheated in my quest to become mayor can suck it cry babies.)

Gimme Daily Marauder

Gimme Coffee/Brooklyn, NY

It is here that I first started paying attention to this concept of latte art. To define it, steamed milk is poured into a shot of espresso to create the resulting design. At first, I thought the foamy shapes on top of my favorite espresso brew were mere flirtations from my barista. That ended when I realized that my barista gave many patrons the frothy foam heart. Traitor… I soon began to rate my barista’s ability to deliver on something impressive from rosettas to things even more impressive. Speaking of which, not to call out my former local shop, but when you half ass it Ninth Street Espresso, I judged. You still make a mean cup of coffee tho.

It’s not until I had a long conversation with Chris and Katie from Intelligentsia in LA, that I realized this coffee latte art was more serious than I had originally considered.

To demonstrate this, there art a number of barista championships around the world from the World Latte Championship to the World Barista Championship.

Latte Art

Photo Credit: Anders Madsen

Candidate art for the World Latte Art Championship poured by an employee from the Dromedar coffee bar

Double Pour

Photo Credit: Coffee Geek

The Butterfly Two-Handed Pour by Sammy from Artigiano

If you need further convincing on the seriousness of the art or the competition, take a look at a video of Stephen Morrissey, The 2008 World Barista Champion.

Stephen Morrissey

So, if you dare, go get your latte art on. But please, don’t try it using that sad little Krups machine you have at home.

Marauder Coffee Favorites by City

(Each complete with free in-house Wi-Fi)

Chicago/Los Angeles


Photo & Pour Credit: Christopher Alameda

Intelligentsia (Which I am incidentally also the mayor of on Foursquare for the Venice location)

Several Locations

New York


Photo Credit: Premshree Pillai

Gimme Coffee

Several Locations (Brooklyn is by far my fav)

I like mine in two paws at once. And Gimme, if you ever want to take your special coffee hotness out of NY, email me.

Daily Marauder_Gimme Coffee

San Francisco


Photo Credit: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

Ritual Coffee Roasters

Several Locations

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I’m not a huge latte drinker, but these designs are cute! I want to order the heart design. Awwww…

Comment by Leslie

Impressive. But the top photo leaves me with the question how to bring this piece of art unharmed to the customer thru a pushy crowd and across cobblestones.
I work in that biz.

Comment by snuffy

I honestly don’t know how you do it. Frankly, I can’t balance anything…

Comment by Marauder

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