You’ve ordered a white mocha latte from Red Maple Cafe in Burbank, but when it comes to your table, you’re surprised by a pink picture of Billie Eilish’s face printed across the foam of your drink. This isn’t a mocha miracle, this is the cafe’s signature “Celebralattes.”
The Red Maple Cafe coined the term “Celebralattes” and became the first to put celebrity faces on their drinks, taking social social media by storm. The lattes have been bringing in folks from all over Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and even the celebrities themselves. The menu features over 45 signature “celebralattes” ranging from musicians, actors and athletes with their own distinct flavor and picture.
Brian Veskosky and Jim Orozco opened Red Maple Cafe in Burbank’s media district in May of 2017 and have been printing their lattes since the day they opened. “We’ve been here six years now. We built it, we survived the growing pains of the first two years of any restaurant, and we survived COVD,” said Veskosky. The cafe originally started with iconic celebs like Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball, and Bob Hope, but as they became more popular the duo transitioned into the top celebs of today’s pop culture.
Fan favorites are currently the “Katy Perry” cupcake latte, “Taylor Swift” rose vanilla latte, “Harry Styles” honey vanilla latte, and the “Tom Holland” dark chocolate chip latte. Veskosky’s go-to latte is the “Chris Hemsworth” sea salt caramel toffee latte because that’s his favorite flavor. Chris Hemsworth was actually one of the biggest celebrities to visit Red Maple Cafe and was unaware of the “celebralattes.”
Hemsworth was in Burbank for Avengers: Endgame press and stopped into the cafe. The baristas surprised Hemsworth with a latte with his face printed on it and he was so excited about it that he immediately shared it on his social media. Other celebrities who have stopped into the cafe include Brie Larson, Steve Carell, Chadwick Boseman, and Bebe Rexha.
So how exactly does Red Maple Cafe print onto their lattes? The secret is in a machine called Ripples. Using black carrot extract cartridges, the Ripples machine prints edible, vegan, images onto any circular surface in under 10 seconds. Veskosky finds that it prints the best on regular milk foam or whipped cream at his cafe, but other places use Ripples to print on things like beer foam and even macaroons. He chose the carrot extract because it printed red to match the name of the cafe. They also offer kids hot chocolates and steamers so they can jump in on the “celebralattes” as well.
The fun part is that every latte using regular milk comes with a pictures on it. The baristas will randomly put on a celebrity photo based on what is popular that day, or you can choose your own. You don’t have to get a specific flavored “celebralatte” either, and can mix and match flavors and faces to customize your drink. You can even take it a step further and upload your own photo to an app for a latte that is completely your own.
The cafe has a QR code or you can download the Ripples app where you can upload a photo of a different celebrity, a photo of yourself or pet, or even an animated character. The app will give you a number and you take that number to the barista to let them know which picture is yours to be printed on your drink. There is even a text option to write something fun on your drink like a happy birthday message, or for one customer a pregnancy announcement.
“A lady contacted us saying she was having a baby and that she wanted to tell her husband using our machine. So we printed on the drink, ‘You’re Going To Be A Daddy.’ When we brought the drink out and put it down he said ‘Oh this is not mine,’” Veskosky laughed, recounting the story. “He wasn’t comprehending it. He kept saying ‘there’s something on my drink, this doesn’t make sense’ and his wife then revealed that it was right and they were having a baby.”
Veskosky and Orozco always try to have fun with the drinks and pick creative photos of the celebrities to brighten up the lattes. “JoJo Siwa has a bubblegum bubble and Pete Davidson has a flower in his ear,” adds Veskosky, who also updates celebrity photos when their looks change. The cafe will also have special drinks when a celebrity passes away or when there is a big event coming up. They honored the late Queen Elizabeth with her very own ripple art and had Rams art during the Superbowl.
You can stay up to date on the Red Maple Cafe’s “celebralattes” and special Ripples art via their Instagram account @redmaplecafe. Visit their website www.redmaplecafe.com for location and more info. Now, the big question is…which celeb will you choose?