Latte Art

Latte Art

Become a real Barista!
Latte Art

Making a cup of coffee or espresso is always an art though some may consider it very simple. However there are people who have a serious attitude towards this matter and these are baristas. These people are professionals in making coffee and know many techniques to prepare a good and tasty coffee drink. But there is another aspect in baristas activity that is above an average man band, that is latte art. The ability to prepare a latte with patterns is a great skill that requires great experience (the masterpiece should not only be beautiful but also tasty) and professional equipment not available in household use generally.

So how in fact latte art is created? To make a masterpiece, the barista needs the following tools and products:
1. Cold rich milk.
2. A steam pitcher with upright walls or a milk foaming pitcher.
3. An espresso machine with a high-powered steam wand.
4. Thermometer.
5. A 14 oz latte cup.

Well, the equipment is prepared, the materials are ready at hand, what is the next step?

First, fill the pitcher with an exact amount of milk enough for one cup. Get fresh milk each time you wish to fill another cup.

Second, place the steam wand at the bottom of the pitcher and let the steam in slightly raising the wand so that it is almost at the top of the milk. As the milk begins ascending, lower the pitcher so that the wand is approximately 1 cm above the top of the milk. Be aware, you don’t need big bubbles in the foam; the key to a successful latte art is getting velvety milk that is poured down and mixed with espresso.

Third, the temperature during steaming should rise to 80 єF, then spin it counterclockwise and bring it to 150-160 єF (Steaming over this temperature will reduce the milk’s sweetness). When the steam procedure is done, remove the thermometer from the pitcher and wipe dry the steam wand.

Fourth, start pouring the milk froth into the espresso. The pattern you’d like to create is up to you and your barista skills. Of course, a self-respecting barista should be able to create absolutely anything and even more. However, there are several classical figures popular all over the world. For example, the flower design or “rosetta” is made in the following way:

While pouring the milk into the espresso, keep the pitcher inclined in one direction. As the whole milk is in the cup, the froth begins showing up on one side only (because of the slope). But that’s not our story’s ending: the barista moves the pitcher from one part to another as he/she aligns the cup and then ends with fast strike through the already existing pattern. This strike produces its part of the flower design and shapes the poured zig-zag into a flower.

There are numerous patterns which start from simple one, geometric to very complicated with words and whole masterpiece on the surface. Though it’s evident that a skillful barista should be able to create any design, the beginners should start from the classic ones – to became a skilled hand at latte art and then try creating their own chef-d'oeuvres.

See also:
Coffee Recipes
Flavored Coffee
Gourmet Coffee
Roast Process
see also

Follow coffee4dummies on Twitter