When you look inside your cup of coffee from the Sunrise Café in Wells, you might just see a work of art.
Walker Himsworth Van Stralen uses no ordinary blank canvas, but the light and airy milk foam on the top of lattes, espressos and cappuccinos to create their drawings.
Since stepping into the role as café manager late last year, Van Stralen has been busy redesigning the menu and adding an extra special touch at no cost to customers’ drinks.
“It’s not something I do for everyone. I realize that some people just want their caffeine as quickly as possible—they’re not here to watch me doodle in their coffee while it gets cold,” Van Stralen said with a laugh.
“But I think the people that ask for it enjoy it.”
The secret to drawing animals, positive words, cartoons and more on the top of a coffee is an intricate process that all depends on how you steam the milk.
If it is not steamed just right, it will become more bubbly over time and cause the image to deteriorate quickly.
“I make milk in such a way that I can a make a canvas on the top instead of art where you pour it into the cup and make it as it’s poured—it’s a bit different,” Van Stralen said.
“I create a canvas and then just use my drawing skills dipping the end of a thermometer into the espresso bit, and you can better variations in color if you use a good espresso shot you’ll get some darker contrasts and lighter contrasts.”
Van Stralen learned how to do coffee art in Vancouver, where they trained as a barista at Commercial Street Café.
Having moved away from the high costs of living in the Lower Mainland to the more affordable Cariboo, where their parents also reside, Van Stralen is excited to provide the area with good coffee and bring a smile to people’s faces.
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