Latte art is frequently the most alluring thing for a new barista, and it’s a great way to enter the fascinating world of coffee. Latte art is simple to learn, but it takes a lot of practise and perseverance to perfect the patterns. Here are some suggestions I made a few years ago to help you improve your latte art!
1. Make your milk smooth and velvety by:
When making espresso-based drinks, steaming milk may appear difficult, and people frequently believe that this is the hardest step to complete. I would like to object. Espresso is far trickier and more complicated, in my opinion. Actually, I’m pretty sure I’ll never fully comprehend espresso. But with a few quick tips, it’s simple to make that milk silky smooth. Three things need to be done correctly:
1. Where you place your wand
In your milk pitcher, create a sizable whirlpool that will suck out all air bubbles and smooth out your milk. Latte art can only be created with milk that is smooth. Lean your pitcher slightly so that the wand is positioned in the middle of the pitcher and a third of the way out from the side. A massive whirlpool is guaranteed in this posture!
2. Milk with the appropriate amount of air
You ought to hear a sucking sound as soon as you turn the wand on. If not, slightly lower your pitcher until you do. It will be very difficult to create latte art with extremely murky or foamless milk, therefore the air must be just right. I try to keep to the traditional hearts and tulips when using cappuccino milk (which has a little more foam). You can create anything with latte milk (and a little foam): hearts, tulips, rosettas, swans, caffeinated zebras, etc.
3. The temperature of the milk you steam.
Steamed milk should be served at a temperature of between 55 and 62 degrees Celsius. Some people could argue that the ideal temperature for latte art is 50 degrees, but if you don’t want your customers to hate you, I don’t suggest serving them drinks that cold. The biggest issue with lattes is when the temperature exceeds 70 degrees.
What’s wrong with milk that’s been “boiled”? The milk’s proteins begin to alter and denaturize as a result of the heat, which results in a lack of sweetness, flavour, and texture. When milk is heated over 70 degrees, microfoam is practically impossible to produce. If you want your latte “very hot,” tell your customers to order it between 55 and 62 degrees.
2. Bases come first, then art
People frequently overlook contrast when creating latte art. Even your perfectly poured swan will appear cluttered in the absence of contrast. For this reason, you should pour the milk through the crema very carefully at first. Your painting will be created on the dark brown mixture, which will serve as your canvas.
When I pour latte art, I often utilise two pouring heights: 5 cm and 0,5 cm from the drink’s surface. When I wish to create the base or canvas for my art, I utilise a 5 cm distance. I begin pouring in the centre of the cup and work my way around it in spiral motions. Depending on the design I choose, I will keep doing this until my cup is 40–70% full. The surface tension of the cup will increase as it fills up. Start early if you want to create large designs so that surface tension won’t stop the pattern from spreading.
3. Approach and lean your cup.
After creating the canvas, you may begin creating the artwork. You must approach extremely near to the surface (around 0.5 cm) in order to create the art. You must bend your cup to get pretty near to the surface. Otherwise, if you keep your cup straight, you’ll either be too far away or you’ll need to pour quickly, which won’t likely regulate your pattern. As you draw near the surface, you’ll discover that you can pour leisurely and there is no rush. There will always be tulips around. Believe me. They will.
You should also think about how you’re holding your cup in your hand. Do you grip it by the handle, the side, or the bottom? Select the position that is most comfortable for you. It should be enjoyable and comfortable to pour latte art.
4. Take a video of you and others.
This was quite helpful. You can’t analyse what went wrong when you’re pouring, but if you film yourself, you can work on your technique. Check to see if you are sufficiently close to the surface or if you need to get there sooner. When the café is quiet, have fun recording each other with your coworkers. You advance every time you get feedback.
5. Be tenacious and diligent.
This advice is possibly the most crucial. A elite athlete is said to require 10,000 hours of practise. Although it might not take as long, latte painting will undoubtedly demand commitment. If after a week of practise you still can’t make a heart, don’t worry. I spent almost six months on it. It also took me a sometime to improve my latte art skills. The quantity of pours will undoubtedly translate into wonderful latte art.
I sincerely hope these suggestions prove useful to you! You may always send us a private message on Instagram (@baristainstitute) if you feel confused about something, and we will assist you! Have fun while being inventive!