Beginner’s Guide to Latte Art

close up photo of matcha latte on a ceramic cup

If you are a lover of coffee, getting your frequent fix is one of the things you look forward to having at several times of the day. Just as it is with other factors influencing how much you relish the coffee; some consider going for learning the intricacies of espresso art

For those who love having coffee with milk, they must have noticed a spectacular form of art which is known as latte art. This form of art has dazzling patterns made using foam on the espresso drink. If you have been thinking of how you too can do such beautiful art forms, here is the piece that you need to perform the wonders in your kitchen. 

Baristas will tell you that the two main ingredients are all you need to make an excellent cup of a latte: a new shot of espresso alongside a decent quantity of crema and well-steamed milk. You should know that your normal milk cannot work on coffee for this art. The main reason why you cannot just prepare your latte with normal milk with the coffee boils down to physics and science – that is what determines the outcome of the latte. 

If you want to make that bubbly microfoam that is poured into your cup, you can do like the baristas by applying steam to the milk then you will hear it rapidly. This is a process that is known as denaturing and that is because it changes the physical features of the milk. 

Milk is made up of fat, sugar, and proteins. When it is subjected to steaming, the sugars and the fat in the milk will break into tinier sugars which add to the sweetness of the milk. After the steaming of the milk is complete, the next thing is to pour it into the cup of espresso, but that also has some physics involved. What an experienced barista does is to pour the milk which has been steamed in a way that there is going to be draining at first then ends with foaming. That is the style that produces the foam which forms the design. 

Mistakes Made in Coffee Art

Apart from just adding your normal milk to the usual coffee, there are some other errors that the beginners make when doing latte art and these include: 

  • Slow pouring of the milk: This is a flaw because it makes the milk separate inside the pitcher and this leads to a lower level of aeration in the milk entering the beverage and well-aerated milk left behind inside the pitcher. This complicates the process of latte art and causes under aeration of the beverage. 
  • Moving the pitcher from beverage surface during pouring: If you elevate the pitcher from the surface of the beverage, it makes the milk plunge into the crema instead of resting on the crema which is then used to form the art. 
  • Moving the spout of the pitcher close to the beverage: If you do this, you are not going to get the much-needed pattern because the milk is just going to skim the beverage surface. 

Making Your Own Latte Art

This is a very delicate art, and your eventual outcome is going to depend on how well you follow all the steps that will be outlined shortly. You will have to practice these steps very well over time before you can perfect them. When it comes to making your latte art, here are the three principal steps you must take: 

  • Getting the perfect foam
  • Pulling of the espresso
  • Pouring of the milk

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