Next time you’re handed a latte with a beautifully constructed foam leaf on top, consider this—creativity is one of the most sought-after skills by employers. What draws employers to hire creative thinkers in business also applies to the coffee-shop. A recent study conducted by Oxford psychologists and published in the Journal of Sensory Studies shows that people are willing to pay 13 percent more for a cup of coffee with a dash of design mixed in.
Despite this public revelation, senior director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America Peter Giuliano claims that the price of artful drinks won’t be going up anytime soon. He explains that latte art is “part of a holistic approach to quality,” and not just fuel for your next Instagram post.
According to an interview with CityLab, Giuliano views latte art as the final link in a production chain that stretches all the way back to the farm on which the coffee was grown. “There's farmers who work on building the flavor of coffee, there's roasters who try to reveal the work of the farmers, and there's coffee buyers [who] find and select and describe the coffee,” he says. “But then it's a barista's job to make it appealing to the consumer. The chain behind them relies on baristas to communicate those things.”
The same could be said about many businesses. An artful product presentation gives customers the impression that the same care and precision was part of the entire lifecycle of the product. For businesses looking for a competitive advantage, it’s worth noting that when arts and business mix, the public pays heed.