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How to Make Latte Art

 

 

If you're on a quest to finally master the latte heart or the elusive rosetta, you're in the right place! We've been refining our approach to latte art in our cafes for the last fifteen years and love to walk new learners through the steps.

The standard latte only has two ingredients—coffee (brewed as espresso) and steamed milk (with foam)—and the list of what you'll need to make your art is not much longer! Here's what we will use in the steps below:

  • Shot of Espresso (1.5-2oz) in a Latte Cup
  • Steamed Milk (6-8oz) in a Frother Pitcher(12oz)

 

  1. Step one: Brewing your espresso
  2. Step two: Preparing your milk for latte art.
  3. Step three: Pouring your milk
  4. Making a Latte Heart
  5. Making a Latte Rosetta

 

Step one: Brewing your espresso

Behind every great latte is a precisely-brewed shot of espresso. We assembled and easy-to-follow espresso brew guide if this is new territory for you, as well as a deeper dive into the identity of espresso.

If you want your latte to taste as good as it's about to look, using freshly-roasted coffee meant for espresso is a key part of securing that right taste and texture. We always use Tigerwalk Espresso at our cafes whether we're making a latte, or serving it ristretto, to always achieve those balanced and sweet flavors.

Once you've completed pulling your shot of espresso, pour it into the cup that you will use to serve your latte. The milk and foam will be going on top, and how your pour it will be the deciding factor in the final look of your latte.

 

Step two: Preparing your milk for latte art.

The second ingredient for your latte is steamed milk, and all latte art starts with good milk texture. Check out our guide on how to steam milk for a latte if you're still new to it—there can certainly be a learning curve, so don't be discouraged if it takes multiple tries to accomplish what you're going for!

Ideally, you want the bubbles in your milk to be so fine that you don't see any individual ones. When you're done steaming, if you look in your pitcher and still see some larger bubbles, you can gently tap the pitcher on your counter to pop them.

Once you've popped all the bubbles, you want to give the milk a little swirl inside the pitcher to reincorporate those tiny bubbles, also known as micro foam, back into your milk. This will allow you to pour the foam and the milk as one texture. You want to keep swirling until your milk has achieved a shiny texture like wet paint.

 

Step three: Pouring your milk

When you are holding your pitcher for latte art, you want to ensure you have a very loose grip. To get into a comfortable pouring position, start with the pitcher way out on your fingers and curve your fingers around. This way, you'll be able to move your pitcher very easily without doing big motions with your arms. It's all in the wrist!

When we're pouring latte art, we're playing with the flow rate of the milk. If you lift up the back up your pitcher, the milk is going to flow very quickly: a fast flow rate. If you lift up the nose of your pitcher, you're going to have a very thin stream: a slow flow rate.

Now with pitcher in-hand, let's take a look at how to pour to achieve two of the most beloved and accessible latte designs: the heart and the rosetta.

  

Making a Latte Heart

Let's start with pouring a heart, step by step:

  1. We begin with a faster flow rate. Dive into the pool of espresso by lifting up the back of the pitcher.
  2. Now, slow down the flow rate by lifting up the nose a little bit.
  3. Once your latte cup is three quarters full, you want to lower your pitcher until the nose is very close to the surface of the drink.
  4. You should now start to see a white dot form on the surface of your beverage.
  5. By lifting up the back of your pitcher just a little bit, you'll be able to expand the white dot as your milk foam is sitting on top of your drink rather than punching through.
  6. Pull forward to create the curve of the heart.
  7. Raise up the tip of your pitcher as you pull through to make the point.

 

Making a Latte Rosetta

Once you master the heart, we're going to make a little wiggle to master the rosetta. Be sure to start by "polishing" your milk as described above, swirling until it looks like wet paint.

Now let's tackle the famed latte rosetta, step by step:

  1. We begin with a faster flow rate. Dive into the pool of espresso by lifting up the back of the pitcher.
  2. Now, slow down the flow rate by lifting up the nose a little bit.
  3. Once your latte cup is three quarters full, cross your pitcher over to the far side of your cup. Now lower your pitcher until the nose is very close to the surface of the drink.
  4. You should now start to see a white dot form on the surface of your beverage.
  5. Make a subtle wiggle with your pitcher by pinching your fingers on the handle.
  6. Continue to wiggle the pitcher as you move it backwards, all the way back to the side of the cup that you started from.
  7. Raise up the tip of your pitcher and pull through to complete the design.

Step one is the same. We're going to dive into the pool of espresso by lifting up the back of the pitcher, but for a rosetta, when you reach that three quarter point of your pour, you're going to cross to the far side of your cup. Then, once you see the white dot start to show on top of your drink, you're going to give a little wiggle just by pinching your fingers on the handle of your pitcher and wiggle all the way back towards the side of the cup you started from.

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