• Make it Pretty

Catch up with Jeffrey Johnston

28 September 2017

latte art - bringing people together 

Jeffrey Johnston is a Barista trainer, Café Manager, Café Consultant and internationally recognized Coffee Judge. Having moved from San Diego to Melbourne last year he is well-known amongst latte art fans and his Instagram is filled to the brim with the beautifully designed caffeinated drinks.

We had an opportunity to catch up with Jeffrey to discuss where he started, his time in Melbourne and tips for those looking to make it in the latte art world!

You've mentioned this is your eighth year being a barista, what got you started?

Jeffrey: I originally got into coffee as just a job. Over time I grew to love the hospitality aspect of the job and then I grew to love the taste of coffee. My friend challenged me to make a latte art heart one day, and I've wanted to improve every day ever since. 

What have you found to be the best part of the coffee world? 

Jeffrey: The best part of the coffee world is the community. I've traveled the world with a handful of people, and we've met up in various regions of the world and had fun and communicated and made amazing memories. Coffee brings people together. 

NYCF: Being in Melbourne you are at the heart of coffee, following from beetroot, matcha and turmeric lattes, what do you think will be the next big trend? 

Jeffrey: I think the next big trend is black lattes; black sesame or activated charcoal.
What do you enjoy most about latte art?

Jeffrey: I enjoy the physical science and complexity of it. For something to look so easy, and be so unimaginably difficult. It's another platform for creativity. 
What is your favorite latte art design to perform?
Jeffrey: My favorite latte art design to perform recently is a slow to fast Rosetta. It's so difficult to get many slow lines, but fun and rewarding when it turns out well. 

What is your go-to coffee at the moment?  
Jeffrey: I've been drinking Panama geishas and other fun and expensive stuff for the past few months in preparation for the Barista Championships, so probably that. It's hard to go back to standard coffee after you've been drinking some of the best for so long. 
Last one! Any tips for those who want to get started in latte art or become a barista?

Jeffrey: Question everything, don't give up and always push yourself. Find a willing teacher. I wish I had a teacher; I would've learned so much more in so much less time.

Be sure to check out Jeffrey Johnston's designs at the New York Coffee Festival, October 13-15! He will be on stage Friday at 2.15pm, Saturday and Sunday at 12.15pm.

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