If you walk into the Elite Audio Coffee Bar in downtown San Francisco and find your barista to be Melannie Aquino, you can order a cat, a puppy, Snoopy, SpongeBob or even a toothy, sad, happy or weird-looking minion on your latte. After all, Aquino is an accomplished, and highly innovative, latte artist and she can make it all happen right there in your coffee mug!

Artists are known to explore every medium they get their hands on in a bid to express their creativity, and Aquino is surely among the more inventive ones, using her job as a barista to explore her own genius.

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So while other baristas stuck to the more conventional hearts and trees, this young artist, inspired by a friend, began trying out sketches of cute animals and popular cartoon characters on the lattes she gave out, and soon enough, she was hooked and so was everyone else! Now, nothing seems to be a tall order for her, and from the minions to Casper, you can see her transforming coffee cups with just about every character.

With this kind of ingenuity and talent, you would expect Aquino to go beyond the canvas of simply the coffee cuppas she doles out, but this artist has plans to only stick to this medium.

“I don’t really have aspirations in pursuing art outside the realm of latte art. I dabble in painting, sketching and whittling on my off time, but I do that more for relaxing,” she shares with Mashable.

And while artists usually love to keep their work to themselves, especially the techniques, Aquino has no qualms in sharing her work with all those interested, and even has a detailed coffee table book in the works. The book will not only have her favorite drawings, but will also demonstrate the entire process.

“I’ve been spending the last year documenting every step, from working on sketches to experimenting with different techniques. I’m very excited to share my craft especially since it’s something you don’t encounter every day,” Aquino says.

Well, we’ll surely keep an eye out for this particular piece on latte art. It’s written by a pioneer in the field after all!  If you are a fan of latte art, check out the recent post featuring a colorful twist:

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