Meet an international latte artist creating foamy portraits of celebrities

Click to play video: 'World-famous latte artist helps draw business to Fredericton cafes'
World-famous latte artist helps draw business to Fredericton cafes
As the holidays come to a close and people return to work and school, the winter months are notoriously known as slower periods for many businesses in the service industry. But as Anna Mandin reports, a coffee tour with a world-renowned latte artist is aiming to stir business up. – Jan 6, 2024

Brian Leonard, known as Barista Brian, is an international latte artist who has created foamy portraits for celebrities like Daniel Radcliff, Mr. Beast and Eddie Redmayne.

But he’s turned his attention to a new crowd –residents in the New Brunswick capital of Fredericton wanting to learn a little more about coffee.

“I was looking for opportunities in Fredericton and this seemed like a really great chance for me to work with tourism here,” he said.

The “Coffee Connoisseur” walking tour takes participants to four different coffee shops. Along the way, Leonard teaches them about how to taste coffee, where coffee comes from, and some anecdotes from his experiences serving celebrities in Hollywood and at film festivals.

At the end of the tour, Leonard creates latte art for all of the participants.

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Corey Furlotte attended the tour as a Christmas present from his parents.

“Barista Brian is fantastic, and it’s an amazing tour,” he said.

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Lauren Cruikshank came with her partner.

“Learning about how to taste coffee has been really interesting, but also just, you know a unique individual with a really interesting life story and an artistic practice that’s kind of unusual,” she said.

Tour to brew up some business for local cafés

“I really hope this tour impacts local cafes by introducing people to different cafes they’ve maybe never gone to,” Leonard said.

Nicholas Marquez bought the Daily Espresso about nine months ago. He said the café was closed for over a year during COVID-19, and some people forgot about it.

Marquez said he welcomed the tour to his café after the City of Fredericton reached out to him.

“I think in the slow months like this, or any time, having tours like this would be very good for people to know the café,” he said.

The Daily Espresso is in the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. Marquez said it’s appropriate for Leonard to be sharing his art there.

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“This is at the art gallery here in Fredericton, so I think this is the best place to have this,” he said.

Leonard has decorated lattes for participants of the Sundance and Toronto International film festivals and Hollywood celebrities. He’s now turning his attention to his hometown of Fredericton. Anna Mandin / Global News

“Even if I’ve been to some of the cafés before, I haven’t had such a sort of expert tour,” Cruikshank said.

Furlotte said he wants to go back to the Urban Almanac General Store because he liked their coffee the best.

With a couple tours finished, Leonard is looking forward to spending more time in his hometown of Fredericton.

“There’s so much coffee happening in this city, it’s really exciting to see coffee popping up like craft beer, it’s becoming craft coffee, and we’re all become coffee connoisseurs,” he said.

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