Traditional beverage art, pouring milk into coffee to create designs, has never been about advertising, or capable of advertising, for that matter, as the most common designs are hearts and flowers. Pikalo’s printer prints hearts, flowers, faces, pictures, and even company logos. When people see a design from Pikalo’s printer, they, “have an Aha moment when they say, ‘this is so cool’,” Pikalo says. That Aha moment, when people see a design on a drink, is what has attracted advertisers looking to impress clients.
Nicholas Cho, chairman of the United States Barista Championships, says although the printer is a fun idea and gives beverage art a new dimension, it produces a “cookie cutter” kind of art.
“There are great pastry chefs out there where you can get a beautiful cake, but then you can also get a cake with Dora the Explorer printed on it,” says Cho. The printer “is kind of the same thing.”