Latte art is an ongoing pursuit in our household, and is being advanced thanks to David Schomer's educational materials. Though I myself don't have time nor patience to spend hours in front of the espresso machine, I'm the lucky beneficiary of such studiousness (I allow myself one single per day).
This brand of edible creativity is awesome, because unlike some other tricked-out food stunts, having fun with milk foam isn't a way to mask poor quality. Instead it showcases the talents of someone who strives only for the best flavor and texture. Chances are a cappuccino or latte finished off with a leaf or heart tastes as good as it looks.
Which is why I gotta give a belated shout out to this cup I had at Urth Caffe a little while back. It was the most breathtakingly beautiful cappuccino I'd ever seen. The one-dimensional figure looked as if it was about take flight from the perfect microfoam and chirp a sweet melody, like one of the birds helping Cinderella sew her ball gown. I regret not having found out who made it, since it meant at least one guy in Santa Monica can stand up to Seattle's best baristas. The new Caffe Luxxe on Montana Ave. is also seriously worth checking out for its use of Vivace beans and Synesso machines. And this home-grown leaf ain't half bad either.