Longtime coffee expert and überblogger Tonx took some pictures many years ago of lattes made at Victrola Coffee in Seattle, where I used to work. He put the set on flickr and it has over half a million views. In fact, he made these pictures available on the web even before they were put on flickr.
Many, many more beautiful lattes have been poured (though rarely have they been as well-photographed); but because these pictures were some of the first high-resolution pictures of really excellent latte art that were freely available on the web, they quickly spread all over the place. Now, as is so often the case with internet property, they're completely out of tonx's control; he told me he long ago gave up trying to get credit for all these pictures.
Anyway, a lot of those lattes are mine, and though I'm used to seeing them pop up randomly, sometimes it still takes me by surprise.
With the new Google insta-search that debuted this week (in which it starts showing you results before you have even finished typing... try it!), even if you aren't looking for images, if you type "latte ...", before you even get to the a in "art" a bunch of pictures pop up, and at least as of this week, the one in the upper right is my latte. Kinda weird; it links to some auto-bot sight called thatsweird (dot) net (no linkage for them!).
Bing.com takes you to this page in which one of my lattes is used as an interstitial illustration meant to encourage you. "Latte Art is all the new craze, and looks great," it says, "go on, have a go..."
Lifehacker has this pic, which is my favorite:
But, God bless them, they give tonx credit.
It's been a while since I jumped behind the bar and made two hundred lattes in a morning. I know I still have the chops, but I wonder if my "handwriting" has changed at all. Have you ever looked at old notebooks or letters or schoolwork and marveled at how your handwriting has changed over the years? I wonder if it's the same with latte art.
Check out my own flickr page. I have some latte art pics there, but the nicest photo sets are the ones from Ethiopia, El Salvador, and Peru.