By now, every barista worth his or her froth has experimented with “latte art” — the twee illustrations made from the foam of a latte that range from simple hearts to whimsical character designs. But the full-color, completely personalized latte paintings created by Lee Kangbin, of Seoul, South Korea, are like nothing we’ve ever seen.
Lee creates customized full-color pieces of artwork on top of lattes at the “C. Through” coffee shop in Seoul. He posts each of his unique creations on Instagram. His posts, which get thousands of likes and shares, feature familiar faces — like Disney princesses, Pokémon characters, and My Little Ponies —atop coffee cups, as well as complex recreations of famous pieces of art and stunningly realistic pictures of cherry blossoms, portraits, and more.
As beautiful as they are, Lee’s latte artworks are not just for show: He told The Daily Meal that his “Cream Art” creations are completely drinkable (they’re meant to be drunk cold). He uses a latte art pen, food coloring, and espresso to make each of his commissions.
“Even though time goes by, the taste does not change,” Lee told The Daily Meal. “This is extremely important because I am a barista.”
You can always come in and order his signature cartoon bear latte design on the spot for 7,500 won ($6.72 USD), but anything else needs to be ordered ahead of time and will cost 10,000 won ($8.96 USD). Since his latte work has gone viral, he has been forced to stop taking commissions for weeks due to the overwhelming demand.