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How to Make Latte Art from Your Daily Espresso

Updated on April 21, 2009

If you are an expert espresso and coffee lover already, then the next natural step for you is to move on to the fine skill of creating latte art in your espresso drink. Though this task may seem daunting, I encourage you not to give up hope since this practice will make you an impressive barista to everyone in or around your social circle. Latte art itself is created by manipulating the foam on top of your espresso drink in such a way that it creates a beautiful picture, like a leaf, heart, or even a bear. If you take the time to Google latte art images, then I know that you will be more than impressed by all that can be done to spruce up your latte as you know it. Ready?

1. Steam One Cup of Milk:

Your first step is to steam the milk the you need to create one cup of espresso. You w ill then raise the steam wand to the top of the milk so that you are creating a smooth texture that is different from the stiff foam that you may be used to on your cappuccinos. What you are looking for is a perfect velvety finish.

2. Bring the Milk Temperature to 80 Degrees:

When your milk reaches 80 degrees, you can then dip the wand deep into the milk at the side of your pitcher so the temperature rises to 160 degrees safely. Swirl the milk afterwards to ensure that there are absolutely no bubbles for about 30 seconds.

3. Pour the Milk into the Espresso:

You want to pour the milk right into the center of the espresso in your cup, through the top (the crema) and into the bottom. When your cup reaches half full, the foam will start to rise through the crema, and you now want to move your pitcher backwards as you pour while moving it from side to side using the motion of your hand.

4. *Create Your Design:

By now you can see the foam creating a leaf pattern in the top of your latte, so when you reach the end of the cup, pour a stream of milk right through the middle of your leaf pattern. You must be careful to use a small amount of milk so the design is not affected.

And there you have it! Aren’t you proud? All you have to remember is that practice makes perfect, so look to advance your craft by creating this leaf latte art over and over again. There are many options in your latte art done by the movement of your wrist in pouring the milk, so in some time, you can create a whole latte art series! Coffee and espresso drinks are a rich tradition that has been passed down over the years, so the best way to make this culture an even more significant part of your life is to learn and hone your latte art skill. It is an amazing trick and ability that you will be happy to share every day as you enjoy your tasty java!


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      Zac 7 years ago

      Hey, I work as a barista in a coffee house, I really like your article. Lots of good info. I get a kick out of getting my rosetta's perfect, even if they're just going to be covered by chocolate powder.