Some people use paint brushes, others pencils. But one New York City barista is using coffee as an artistic tool.
Mike Breach, a barista at a hip Manhattan hotel, didn’t expect his latte art to become an Internet sensation. “I really, really need some sort of agent or some kind of manager,” he told ABC News. “I’m just sort of a normal dude.”
Breach’s coffee art took off after he posted his photos on Instagram. Instagram contacted him personally to let him know that the photo-sharing service was going to make him one of its suggested users.
The self-professed caffeine addict gained 20,000 followers in a few weeks. Then, he started using Tumblr, which contacted him about making a video.
“It pretty much became viral on the Internet. It kind of came in waves,” he said.
An artist at heart, the Baltimore native was bored by other mediums. “I see a piece of art faster than a pen or pencil can do it for me,” he said.
Looking for an opportunity to be creative at work, he used a latte and drew a photo of a teddy bear last year. He started making co-workers laugh with what he created, including lattes that resembled hotel managers.
The coffee art grew in popularity. So Breach, 28, began to practice more. He found that milk was a very temperamental medium.
“You’re working with something that has a lifespan, it’s natural,” he said of an art form that has been around for decades.
He didn’t take his work too seriously, giving his creations funny names like “iFoam” and “Snoop Latte.”
Breach would also “latte bomb” hotel guests with creations to gauge their reaction. Or, he would see a cute girl and give her one and say, “Oh, hear you go.”
One huge fan was singer Grace Jones, who was ecstatic after the former grocery worker gave her a latte in her likeness.
“I got to meet her and we hung out a little bit,” he said.
With all of the recent media attention, Breach is hoping to secure a book deal and a studio. He’d love to go to coffee shops selling his book and creating barista art for customers.
What latte can we look forward to seeing next?
“My next one I’m going to post is Katie Couric,” he said.