Study of a Creative Practice: Barista
Since I was always at cafes, I decided to chat with a couple of baristas to understand more about them and their tools.
I drew out 5 tools the baristas used that stood out to me:
– Espresso Machine (to brew espresso shots)
– Portafilter (attaches to the espresso machines)
– Coffee Tamper (to tamper – press the grounded coffee powder into the portafilter basket)
– Milk Pitcher (to pour in the milk for lattes and to create latte art)
– Coffee Grinder (to grind coffee beans)
Idea 1: Latte Art Finger Stylus
I wouldn’t say the baristas at the cafe had a problem with making latte art (since that’s what they were trained for after all), but I came up with this idea of having a portable, wearable and possibly easier way to make latte art since it capitalizes on the intuitive gesture.
The small well with a spring milk frother has an electric heater (to heat the milk) rests on your wrist and the contours of your hand allows the foam to flow downwards easily. Ideally, the nozzle would be made of stainless steel – like the ones on the Espresso machine and also the material of the milk pitcher Baristas usually use for latte art.
This contraption could attach a second tube/nozzle on another finger so that Baristas could use two fingers to make interweaving patterns. Alternative to milk, perhaps chocolate would do well with this invention too.
Prototype 2: Portable Cafe BGM Hats
One of the baristas I talked to in a cafe briefly chuckled about how he became a barista because he wanted to look cool. I used this thought along with the idea of how important cafe music was to set an ambiance.
This Cafe Background Music (BGM) Hat helps baristas bring around a cool aura by playing music directly from the hat. It connects to an application via Bluetooth that comes with a playlist of poetry or chill music.
I tested this by attaching my wireless Bluetooth-connected earpieces to a hat (only on the outside for a prototype) and blasted music. (my images have been corrupted and hence I currently don’t have any for them)
It worked but it wasn’t loud enough and if I had to work on this further, I would look into making small speakers light enough not to weigh down the hat.
Ng Yixian Jo-Ann (A0142014B)
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