In a post earlier this month on the Starbucks Partners Facebook Group page, an internal document was leaked revealing the company has created a latte art guide for its partners (what Starbucks calls its staff). Is the company distributing these one-sheets to its 20,737 stores worldwide? Is latte art coming soon to a Starbucks near you?
In its current model, Starbucks’ reliance on speed and efficiency generally cuts out flourishes like latte art. We spoke to a partner over the phone, who wishes to remain anonymous, who told Sprudge that latte art at Starbucks is currently “tolerated, but not encouraged, particularly during busy times.”
We reached out to Starbucks for comment as to whether or not this training presages a larger rollout of latte art training across their stores, and Megan Adams responded that Starbucks knows its partners are interested, “it’s something they’ve told us and been passionate about,” and that the document has been put together as a “tips and tricks” guide for partners looking to deepen their coffee knowledge.
As to whether or not we’ll soon see mandatory latte art on every grande nonfat half-caff latte the world over, Starbucks says that there’s no concrete plans for a global rollout at this time, but Adams did note that in Starbucks’ China Asia Pacific region stores, the required “standard finish on a for-here beverage is a heart” and that sometimes partners globally get more creative with designs.
Partners in North America are already posting their attempts at latte art on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook and the Starbucks Partner group photo album has gathered some attempts from across the United States. Here are a few of our favorite Starbucks latte art finds:
A Halloween-themed pour from Richmond, Michigan:
Some psychedelic etching from Duluth, Minnesota:
And a stunning peacock from Starbucks’ home base in Seattle:
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Starbucks pre-steamed milk for drinks in batches–Starbucks has actually begun steaming milk to order in recent years.