Perhaps the only thing better than sitting down with your first cup of coffee in the morning is living vicariously through a picture of someone else’s. Baristas tend to be creative types, so it’s little wonder many barista Instagram accounts are as carefully curated as an art gallery or lifestyle brand. The following 5 baristas consistently dropped some of the most inspiring photographs on the interwebs.
Longtime readers of The Compass remember when Cabell Tice burst onto the competitive latte art scene in 2013. He’s since added two more first place trophies to his collection. Up until recently Cabell was the lead barista at Thinking Cup in Boston, but he just announced he and his family are moving to the Pacific Northwest. Cabell also moonlights as a freelance photographer, which explains why his ‘grams feature not just impeccably technical latte art but excellent photo composition as well. His trademark shot features wrapped tulips in a mug held in his free hand. We can’t wait to follow his coast-to-coast road trip.
Baristas usually aren’t the jetset crowd, but Junichi Yamaguchi has traveled the world teaching latte art clinics. Across the barista community Junichi is known for his crisp thin lines and impossible amounts of infusion. Although his latte art routinely makes our jaw drop, it’s Junichi’s pet Italian greyhound that makes him one of our favorite baristas on Instagram.
He also has a penchant for Slayer Espresso machines.
Some of our favorite barista Instagrams aren’t even of coffee, that’s certainly the case with Canadian adventurer/photographer Elyse Bouvier. Maybe it’s because she prefers to work with real film, but Elyse’s photographs have a timeless quality about them, as though they were lifted from the National Geographic archives. Elyse has shot cafes from Seattle to Reykjavik, but our favorites pics are of her native Alberta. When she’s not capturing indescribable natural beauty or roadtripping in her Volvo station wagon, Elyse works for the renown Canadian roaster, Phil & Sebastian.
John Letoto is perhaps best known as the inventor of #fiveouncefriday, the ubiquitous social media hashtag that has baristas across the nation practicing their small volume chops. But the best reason to follow this Houston-based Hawaiian transplant? Definitely the menswear. Widely recognized as the best dressed man in coffee, John knows his warp from his weft and how to mismatch his General Knot & Co tie with his hand sewn pocket square better than you ever will. Just don’t ask how much he paid for those shoes.
There is one barista who has shaped the craft of latte art more than any other, and his name is Christopher Abel Alameda, aka Nicely. In addition to snagging top honors at CoffeeFest three years in a row, Nicely pioneered pouring techniques such as “wrapping” and his signature “slosetta”. Before taking the helm at Menotti’s in Venice Beach, Nicely honed his flow at Espresso Vivace, Intelligentsia, and Handsome Coffee. Although he’s been on a temporary hiatus from social media, we often find ourselves refreshing our feeds hoping he’s made his return. Until then we’ll enjoy scrolling through these classics.