Shortly after I wrote the review on Bottega del Vino in February I received a follow up email from their communications team thanking me for the post... fast forward a few months and they reached out again inviting me to meet their barista Sammy Lin and sip his famous cappuccinos.
So Monday morning I had the pleasure of chatting with Sammy to learn more about him and how he has mastered latte art, not to mention won the hearts of New York's most sophisticated coffee drinkers (even Martha Stewart is a big fan).
Eight years ago Sammy taught himself how to make cappuccinos by intensely watching his boss for one solid week, sipping 15-20 shots of espresso a day to learn the exact flavors, measurements to make coffee that even his true Italian clientele loved. Not only did his Upper East Side patrons love his coffee they were actually the ones who suggested that he start adding art to his concoctions just like the baristas were doing in Italy.
Sammy's first creation was a snowman six years ago, a time when other baristas were creating hearts and leaves he decided to challenge himself by pulling from his Chinese background and creating silhouettes of Chinese women. Shortly after his customers discovered his talent they started requesting him to copy the lion on the cover of their Lion King programs or to replicate the faces of their girlfriends for special occations.
(snowman image: NYCRestaurant.com)
For our meeting he wanted to showcase his favorite creation... facial profiles of elegant women.
The images took me by surprise, I didn't even recognize they were faces at first glance.
There is one latte, well umm hot chocolate, art that his Bottega del Vino customers will never see and that's the Hello Kitty design he makes exclusively for his five year old daughter!
You can try Sammy's creations for yourself at Bottega del Vino Mondays through Fridays from 8am to 6pm or on Sundays from 10am to 6pm at Via Quadronno located on 73rd St and Madison Ave.
Looking forward to hearing what you think of it!