Like the art of "plating" food for a chef, making those super-cool designs on top of your latte is a barista's way of saying "I love you" with coffee foam. The three most common designs are hearts, rosettas, and tulips:

coffee foam art

(Heart)

coffee foam art

(Rosetta)

coffee foam art

(Tulip)

And making them depends on two things: the speed at which steamed milk is poured into espresso, and where its poured. If you've always wanted to know how to make coffee foam art, you can watch this video by Mike Jones from Third Rail Coffee, one of the best coffee-foam-artists around:

coffee foam art

(Mike Jones, Third Rail Coffee)

Or, you can just look at these photos on your way to get your next fix:

coffee foam art

coffee foam art

coffee foam art

coffee foam art

coffee foam art

coffee foam art

coffee foam art

coffee foam art

coffee foam art

coffee foam art