The coffee scene in the Lower Mainland continues to evolve with independent cafés offering something more than just your average cup of joe. I’ve had my fair share of coffee from chains like McDonald’s or Starbucks to get me through the day, but nothing beats sitting in a beautiful café on a weekend for hours with good company. I still love my Americano’s, however, these days I find myself ordering up a latte in anticipation for an anaesthetic latte art. If I’m spending upwards of $4 for a drink, I’d rather take my money where baristas can do it right! Latte art has become an essential part of the coffee world and it’s something patrons expect more than appreciate these days.
Zenstone Coffee is located right by Capstan Way in Richmond in the same plaza as other popular eateries like Captain’s Boil, Bubble World, and Deer Garden. For a coffee shop, the place is quite spacious and perfect for students or patrons who enjoy having a quiet sit-down with a friend. What sets Zenstone Coffee apart from their competitors is that they provide latte workshops for customers. The class requires no prior experience and if you’re up for the challenge, they offer intermediate-advance classes! You’ll have to check their Facebook page for the most up-to-date info.
I was invited to check out Zenstone Coffee with some foodies for their entry-level Latte Art Trial Workshop ($25). The class covers the basic concepts and techniques involved in making a latte like learning how to prepare espresso, milk, and includes one free pour latte with the assistance of an instructor. The class session runs for about an hour and includes a complimentary drink. By the end of the class, you should be able to learn the most basic patterns of latte art like the popular heart!
Preparing the espresso shot for us!
Due to our large party, they steamed the milk for us. For the actual class, they teach you how to steam it properly with the machine.
Prior to our first pour, they gave us water to practice with- it seriously is all about the wrist and angling! When pouring latte art, it’s important to carefully focus on your wrist movement as you start to make your pour. Our barista made it look super easy, but I can confirm that it’s A LOT harder than it looks. Mine turned out looking like a huge blob 😛 Other foodies had way better results than me, but it’s all about having fun!
Some of them turned out pretty interesting! Far from the simple heart we were supposed to attempt 😛 For every latte purchase, you can request to have a specific latte art. Someone requested a cat 🙂
Out of curiosity, I asked if they could show us how to do a matcha latte. It was cool seeing the barista whisk the matcha and do the pour with such ease.
They showed us how to make Totoro (one of my fave characters!). All of the baristas here are super talented and you can definitely see the passion and interest they have for coffee.
Another signature item here is their housemade biscotti bowl (+$1.50?) that you can have your drink poured into. It’s quite delicious.
Or you can turn it into an affogato ($4) Flavours include London Fog, Matcha, Hoji Cha, or Espresso.
Matcha Affogato ($4)
Overall, I really enjoyed my experience here. We definitely spent more than an hour here which they were happy to accommodate. If you’re ever interested in learning how to make basic latte art or something more challenging, I would definitely check this place out! They also recently rolled out a Happy Hour menu here with snacks like sandwiches and waffles as well.
Disclosure: I was invited to attend a media event. All food and drinks were complimentary. Opinions are my own.
1131-8328 Capstan Way