Guide To A Perfect Latte ArtBrenda Yeoh
Latte art is a beautiful thing. You can be an art critic and still drink your coffee at the same time. Although, a perfect latte art doesn’t make your coffee taste any better. It makes it more fun and sparks some light in the morning.
For those who like their coffee with milk, you must have come across various kinds of latte art (and probably posted a couple of them on Instagram). A captivating pattern that is made of milk foam, sitting on top of an Espresso drink.
To have a great latte art requires a fresh shot of Espresso with a rich golden Crema, and a properly textured steamed milk. Once your textured steamed milk is ready, you pour it into your Espresso, then finish with the foam in the design you love. This usually involves a few key aspects such as height, position, and flow.
To read more on steamed milk, head on over to “How To Consistently Steam Milk for Espresso.”
Having to do designs on coffee might sound complicated but don’t worry, here is a complete guide to make a perfect latte art. All you need is a pitcher and a wide cup as it is easier to pour your latte art. Plus, the pitcher should be about 2 times bigger than the cup you will pour into. This is to avoid the milk from spilling during the frothing and steaming process. Let’s start.
1. Always know what you are trying to pour beforehand
Start with a plan. This method helps you to focus and create a smooth workflow that lies ahead. Milk pouring is often quite tricky and with insignificant movements can change a lot in your latte art. So, it is important to decide what latte art you will end up with. Having a last-minute change of mind will set you up for failures.
2. Hold the pitcher and the cup in a right position
There are a few options when pouring a latte art. To start off with a pitcher, most baristas hold it with four fingers and control the movement with their thumb.
Note: When we have a latte art to present to someone, make sure that the handle is on the right, and the latte art is facing towards them. And that’s very easy to achieve if you hold the cup the right way.
If you often hold the pitcher with your left hand, make sure the handle of the cup is perpendicular to your belly button and away from yourself. That means when we pour the latte art and pull through, it’s going to be nice and in line with the handle.
Conversely, if you do the art with your right hand, make sure the handle is pointing towards your belly button so when you pull the latte art and serve it, it’s facing towards the customer.
3. Create a blank canvas focusing in the center of Espresso
Like a painter needs a canvas, what a latte artist is looking for is a nice and even golden Crema coloured. Focus on pouring the milk into the center of your Espresso when you start. This is to avoid the milk from sinking through the Crema.
Important tip here is to place your hand high using circular motions to incorporate the milk into the Espresso with the cup tilted inwards. Mix it evenly in the center of your Espresso. Then, about half to three quarters of the way, there is a nice even Crema colour to pour your latte art into.
Plus, pouring the milk into the center will help push the art towards the edge of the cup and not break the Crema.
4. Start drawing. Go low and steady.
Once the blank canvas almost reaches the lid of the cup, drop the pitcher low towards the surface at approximately 80 degrees, and start pouring by tilting the cup. When the pour is closer to the Crema, it will make the foam appear and not sink below the surface.
Note: Tilt your cup back parallel to the floor as you pour. By pouring too fast will break the Crema, and pouring too slow will leave the foam hanging. Finding your balanced pace is the key.
5. Avoid wiggling your pitcher too fast
If you rush to pour your design, everything will be a mess. Remember, pouring a latte art should be comfortable and fun.
Controlling your pitcher gets easier with lots of practice. Instead of shaking your arm forward and back, think of it like making small scribble marks on a piece of paper with your hand. When you get good at this subtle movement, the milk will gently sway back and forth in the pitcher, giving you easier control to pour your latte art.
The more you practice, the more consistent you will get. Once you master the movement, you can customize your own speed and flow.
6. Finish your design confidently by pulling through
When the cup is full, get ready to pull through. For most designs, the pull through method is the last step to complete the pour.
Before you start, make sure you’re pouring a couple inches above the surface. Have the line thin as you pull through so it draws a nice even line without messing up the pattern.
Note: Pulling through the same height will sink your design. So, slow the speed and lift your pitcher up to complete your art.
#PullThrough #Design #LatteArt
To master these skills certainly requires patience, determination, and effort. Just like Stephen Curry (An American Professional Basketball Player), he throws 500 “shots” a day to improve his skills (No pun intended there). Do not fret if you can’t get it right to make a latte art after 3 days of practice. Practice makes perfection. You will eventually get the latte art that you are satisfied with.
We hope this guide is helpful to you. If you are ready to do your first pour, have fun, be creative, and enjoy the process. Don’t forget to tag us if you have used this guide as a helping hand.