Latte Art: 6 Steps
Making a proper espresso with the right color and amount of crema can be difficult; latte art can be even more so. Here are some steps given in a Wikihow post to make great latte art. YouTube has a thousand videos of making all sorts of variations to the latte. My favorite may be the triple tulip or the dragon. Latte art refers to the patterns in the foam that tops a latte. We will be practicing today at the Roastery in Buena Vista.
- Pour enough milk for one cup into the steam pitcher. Put the steam wand at the bottom of the pitcher. Turn on the steam, and slowly raise the wand until it is near the top of the milk. Lower the pitcher as the milk rises so the steam wand stays 1 cm away from the top of the milk. The milk should not stretch too much nor should there be any big bubbles. Create a smooth, velvety milk as opposed the foam that sits atop most espresso drinks.
- Allow the milk to reach 80 ÂºF (27 ÂºC), then place the steam wand on the side of the pitcher, deep into the milk, positioning the pitcher to spin counterclockwise. Keep doing this motion until the milk heats to 150 ÂºF to 160 ÂºF (65 ÂºC – 70 ÂºC). Shut the steam and remove the steam wand and thermometer from the milk. Clean the steam wand with a wet cloth.
- Vigorously swirl the milk. If you see any bubbles, pound the pitcher on the counter several times and go back to swirling the milk for 20 to 30 seconds. Do this even while the espresso is pouring.
- Start pouring the milk into the espresso. To create a flower pattern, pour the milk into the bottom part of the cup, about an inch (2 cm – 3 cm) away from the bottom. Once the cup is about half filled, shake the pitcher back and forth while slowly moving it backwards. The flower design will move forward, filling the cup. Do this with a shaking motion originating at the wrist instead of moving your hand back and forth.
- Once the foam reaches the top, pour the milk up the center of the pattern you created. Use a minimal amount of milk to avoid sinking the flower pattern.
- Embellish the design using stencils, powder, and milk foam. This step is optional, as many prefer to limit their latte art to “free form” methods, but you may want to experiment with the possibilities added by “etching.”
To see the full post, including a video on making latte art, visit Wikihow.