latte art toronto

Toronto barista does latte art for celebrities

Brian Leonard began making latte art four years ago. Since then, he's hand-crafted lattes for some of the biggest names in music, movies and entertainment, and he's showing no signs of slowing down.

Leonard, who's lived in Toronto for the past five years, started playing around with foam while bartending at an Italian restaurant that had an espresso machine on site. "It [latte art] was sort of this really fun thing I could do while I was working," he says.

A post shared by @baristabrian on

Later, Leonard, who studied opera in university, got a job singing three nights a week at a spot on King Street. During the day, he worked as a barista at the Coffee Bar on Front Street. That's when his latte art started getting noticed by local media outlets.

A post shared by @baristabrian on

He briefly worked for Second Cup and Aroma, and operated a pedal powered espresso machine at Tokyo Smoke before landing at Calii Love, which is now his home base. If you want to catch him there, follow his Instagram feed because he's also busy with a slew of other events and commitments.

A post shared by @baristabrian on

His popularity has surged since he appeared at the TIFF-related Producer's Ball.

A post shared by John Legend (@johnlegend) on

Things really got going when Dan Ganum brought Calii Love to Sundance earlier this year. On day one, John Legend shared one of Leonard's lattes on Instagram, and then celebrities started pouring in, including Game of Throne's Peter Dinklage.

A post shared by @baristabrian on

"I told him that he plays the game of thrones while I play the game of foam," Leonard recounts. "And he thought that was pretty lame, but I was just so excited to meet him."

A post shared by @baristabrian on

Since his time in Park City, Utah back in January, he's been at the Canadian Screen Awards, the Junos, and the MMVAs.

A post shared by @baristabrian on

But regardless of who he's making a latte for - whether it's a celebrity or a customer at Calii Love - he uses his background in performance to frame his work. "It’s all about creating a moment with someone," he says. "And we get to share that moment together."

Lead photo by

@baristabrian


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Eat & Drink

Toronto restaurants are getting creative to transform patios for cold weather dining

Tim Hortons is rolling out futuristic drive-thrus with predictive technology

Someone in Toronto is renting their rooftop patio for people looking to dine outdoors

Toronto restaurant forced to remove private dining huts from curbside patio

Drake accused of putting raisins in his mac and cheese

Toronto raccoon takes it upon himself to get job at Tim Hortons

Toronto restaurant calls out influencer for bad review

10 new ideas for a date night at home in Toronto