A beautiful little heart in your morning flat white, a lovely leaf on top of your midday latte or a deliciously sweet chocolate pattern in your afternoon cappuccino, these small works of art often make the world pause for a second. They say it’s the little things that make life enjoyable, and, to me, latte art certainly is one of those things. Now, whilst it does require some equipment and skills to make your coffee look beautiful, there are a few tips and tricks which can help you nail the latte art of your dreams one day very soon. So if you’re wondering how to make beautiful latte art. Let’s find out!
First things first: Before you start practicing your latte art skills, make sure you have the right equipment – a milk foamer (ideally a steam wand as part of your fully automatic machine), a pitcher and a coffee cup filled with a freshly poured espresso shot.
A heart-shaped milk pattern in your coffee is most suitable for beginner’s level. Heat the milk for your coffee of choice (read more on milk here (link to flat white / latte article)). Once heated swirl the pitcher a few times and then pound the bottom of the jug a couple of times on a heavy surface to get rid of any bubbles. Next, hold your cup in a 45-degree angle in front of you. Pour in the milk in a circling movement, coming closer to the cup with every second. Pause as soon as the cup is about 80 percent full. Now place the pourer very close to the surface of the coffee on one side of the cup, allowing it to almost touch the coffee. Remember to still hold the cup in a 45-degree angle. With a slow, yet determined movement, pour in the remaining milk, slowly straightening the cup. This will create a drop-shaped milk pattern in your coffee, which turns into a heart if you drag the pourer in one straight line down through the centre of the heart to finish with.
If you want to take it to the next level, try making a leaf. Begin as described above, then give the pitcher a little shake from side to side as soon as the cup is 80 percent full. Continue to pour the milk into the centre of the cup, shaking the pitcher from one side to the other 4 – 6 times, which will create the leaf pattern. Finally, move the pourer all the way down through the leaf (similar to how you’ve done to make the heart) to create the stem of the leave.
I admit: Making latte art does sound complicated, and I would be lying if I said it was easy. However, the good news is: It doesn’t require perfect latte art for a good cup of coffee.The quality of the coffee itself as well as temperature and texture of the milk are much more crucial. Beautiful latte art is simply the icing on the cake really!
In case you feel like the challenge of latte art is too advanced, but still want to enjoy a beautiful cup of coffee, then how about you aim for a chocolate pattern on top of your cappuccino? It may perhaps not even be called “latte art“, but we all have to start somewhere, right? To do this really foam up the milk, letting a lot of air inside. Swirl the espresso in your cup then quickly, and in one straight line, pour in the milk until the cup is full. The surface will remain one beautiful thick white milk layer. Use a chocolate shaker to add a few lines of cacao powder to your cappuccino, and perhaps turn the cup 90 degrees and do the same again to achieve a sweet little chocolate grid on your coffee.
Now be real quick with those Instagram pictures, and please don’t forget to drink your coffee whilst it is still hot. You deserve it after all the hard work!
Written by: Lea Lou