Popularized by David Schomer 1980’s, latte art have been a craft loved by the society. Latte drinkers smile upon receiving a cup of artistic masterpiece of the barista. While latte art may appear simple, it is difficult to consistently produce the same masterpiece due to conditions of both espresso shot and milk. The art also depends on the barista’s experience and espresso machine’s quality. The steps in making latte art can be broken down into three: steaming the milk, making the espresso and doing free pour. Here is a step-by-step guide in making a good cup of latte art.
Prepare the milk
Before you start making your latte art, you must prepare your perfectly steamed milk. You would need a cold and fresh milk straight from your fridge. It is advised not to use the same milk again for your Latte Art.
Place your milk into the steam pitcher. Keep in hand a liquid thermometer to help you determine when to remove the milk from the steamer. You will need to froth your milk by stretching and rolling using the steam wand from your espresso machine. Take your pitcher and lift it by holding the bottom until the steamer wand’s tip is just under the milk. Turn on the steam and slowly lower the pitcher when you hear the sound of air being introduced to your milk.
Do this for just a few seconds before you move on to rolling the milk. When you feel the pitcher getting warmer, move the pitcher so that the wand’s tip is near the bottom. Angle the pitcher and check if your milk is moving in a clockwise motion. Rolling the milk will determine the texture of your form. Once your milk foam reaches its peak temperature, turn off the steam and immediately proceed to making latte art.
Prepare a shot of espresso ideally made from 7-8 grams of ground espresso. Pour it immediately in your preferred cup and add milk within 10 seconds. If you are trying to create a flower pattern, simply pour your milk about an inch away from the cup’s bottom. When the cup is about halfway full, carefully shake your steam pitcher side to side. The technique would be using your wrist rather than moving your hand back and forth. The flower pattern will originate from your shaking back and forth while slowly moving the pitcher backwards. The key in free pour is having the right movement of the wrist. Don’t worry if you appear slow at first.
Embellish Your Art
While latte art primarily consists of milk and espresso, there are other methods to design your latte. Some prefer pouring chocolate syrup on top of the foam and decorating by using a pin. Others use stencils and dash chocolate powder creating a design without the hassle of drawing. You can also melt chocolate and use a pin to write sweet messages in your foam.
Whether your latte art is made from free pouring or embellishing, it should be a reflection of you. After all, any form of art is an expression of the artist. You can easily achieve this if you just practice, practice, and practice.