I was wondering if I could get some good advice and opinions about how to make Latte Art. I have read a few things online, and tried a few things at work, but I have been unsuccessful so far. I am sure my milk is good, I am concerned with the size of the pitchers I have to work with, and of course the side to side technique. I am working with a Melita Cafina, so I have a lot of steam power, and it is tricky to get the milk right, but I think I have figured that part out. Also I was wondering how much the cup plays into it all. Can I do it in a 16 oz paper cup? I am dying to get this right, I know it will take a while, but I would love some advice from my fellow Baristas who might have some experience in the field. :)

Tags: Latte, art

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I wrote this basic how-to a good while back. It may be of some help. Then again, it may not.

Latte Art 101
I'm am working on learning Latte Art as well. Thank you all for the helpful advice. It seems a fun way to connect with my customers. I just keep practicing
I am uploading a couple pages on steaming milk and pouring latte art. See attached, hope these also help.
Attachments:
Thanks Matt, any pointers from you are really nice to have.

Matt Milletto said:
I am uploading a couple pages on steaming milk and pouring latte art. See attached, hope these also help.
16 oz cups are hard to pour into, same with paper. Start with a 12 oz bowl shaped latte cup, much easier to start with. The standard milk steaming pitchers lack enough control to get definition. So get a latte art pitcher if you are serious.
Next is the milk. The thickness is very important. Too thick the espresso will just blond out, meaning the whole espresso is evenly mixed with the milk, leaving no crema for definition. Too thin and the design will run all over the place. So stretch the milk early and only a little, i would shot for a 15 percent increase in volume in our steamed milk. Keep that milk in a vortex. Next pour off any excess milk, if using a 12 oz cup you'll want close to 13 oz of milk. Swirl to incorporate the top layer of foam. tilt your latte cup back with the espresso. pour into the center of the puddle. do this quickly kind of dipping down, so not to let the foam sit on top, the thicker the milk the more this matters. pull up letting the stream of milk stay thin. once the cup is some where around half full, drop the nose of your pitcher down sway your pitcher back and forth while push to the center. wait for the milk to form the back of the heart then lift the nose pitcher up at center of the nearly formed heart and draw through to complete it. any problem just email me. good luck
Jeff Gershik said:
The standard milk steaming pitchers lack enough control to get definition. So get a latte art pitcher if you are serious.

Are you referring to straight walled spouted pitchers as the "standard milk steaming pitchers," or bell pitchers? If straight walled spouted, I strongly disagree that these don't work for latte art. All the other advice is pretty killer though, I can actually see and feel myself pouring a heart while reading your description, good stuff.

-bry
bell shaped ones, i have to be honest though. i never really played around to much with anything but rw latte art pitchers, thats all we have at where i work.

Bryan Wray said:
Jeff Gershik said:
The standard milk steaming pitchers lack enough control to get definition. So get a latte art pitcher if you are serious.

Are you referring to straight walled spouted pitchers as the "standard milk steaming pitchers," or bell pitchers? If straight walled spouted, I strongly disagree that these don't work for latte art. All the other advice is pretty killer though, I can actually see and feel myself pouring a heart while reading your description, good stuff.

-bry
Jeff Gershik said:
bell shaped ones, i have to be honest though. i never really played around to much with anything but rw latte art pitchers, thats all we have at where i work.

Bryan Wray said:
Jeff Gershik said:
The standard milk steaming pitchers lack enough control to get definition. So get a latte art pitcher if you are serious.

Are you referring to straight walled spouted pitchers as the "standard milk steaming pitchers," or bell pitchers? If straight walled spouted, I strongly disagree that these don't work for latte art. All the other advice is pretty killer though, I can actually see and feel myself pouring a heart while reading your description, good stuff.

-bry

No, I understand. I thought that perhaps you were saying only ones with more defined spouts would work, such as Europa and Alessi, etc, etc... We're in agreement (and those RW ones are just as solid in most baristas hands as Update ones).

-bry
Cups have a significant amount to do with the pour but they certainly do not keep you from pouring great art. The best way to learn how to pour is by asking and watching people that can already. Thank God for youtube.com and all the videos on there as well. I learned through a friend who was a barista trainer for a coffee roasting company who went to stores that represented him. He taught me about milk and the shot and the absolute basics of pouring art. It just takes practice. That is how you get good. Practice... and a whole lot of it. I've been pouring for a few years now and it is still tough to get it right every time. But I am at a point now where I am proud of each drink I pour. Some art of course is better than other art but they are all special to me in there own way now. Just keep up the training and you'll get it.
first of all take it easy, it takes practice more than anything. I sucked when i started i was just not getting it. You should start practicing with the heart desing. make sure your pictcher have a pointy pouring edge and start pouring, once your at 1/3 full cup start pouring a lil faster, dont do anything with your hand, dont move it and you'll notice that almost a heart shape will form without you doing anything. Once you have the heart down, move to the rosetta, youll notice it will be easier, for the rosetta practice your hand movement with water left and right, just pretend you are pouring over espresso. you'll be ok.

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