Okay, so a selling point for me and my baristas is throwing art when we serve drinks. However, I have never taken lessons for latte art and I am not consistant with my pouring. So I am asking those out there with some experience, what are some basic rules to pouring art? Rosettas, hearts, anything. What do I need to look for and how do I make my art look so clean? I see people pour like it is the easiest thing in the world and I pour a very sad looking rosetta or flower once out of maybe thirty pours. HELP ME!!!!

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Great advice all. I'm still working on it myself so it's great to hear all the different details to watch out for.
Another thing that comes to me is how many Baristas think it "cheating" to use utensils or toothpicks to create latte art. Any thoughts, practices or opinions? I've always had nice reactions from customers who I give the chocolate spider web mochas too.

Also, I too will be training with Counter Culture in a couple weeks which I'm very excited and open about. I am glad to hear good things, thanks Brandon.
i don't hate on the etching, but i don't practice it either. something about sticking something into someone's drink that doesn't have to be there does not resonate well with me on a personal level. but from the standpoint of something like a nice hotel lobby cafe or high end restaurant, I see how it is more viable to show people how to draw on latte's instead of teaching employees free-pouring a rosetta or heart or something. there is a time and place for everything i guess.
ok this is gonna sound crazy, but it works.

If you don't want to wast milk, drop a drop of dish soap into your pitcher and then fill it to the appropriate level with water. When you steam the soap and water it will act like milk (amazingly close to actual milk) and you can practice with the soap water which is way cheaper than milk. The down side is that you have to really clean the pitcher and dishes to make sure no soap residue is left on them.

crazy I know, but it works.
I found Jason H's how-to to be useful, it fixed some issues I was having. Keys for me were knowing what texture your milk needs to be, knowing how the spout needed to move during all portions of the pour, managing speed of the pour, and getting the rhythm of the pitcher sway correct. If you have a really clear bX or YouTube video, try watching several times, each time focusing on a different aspect. If you want to get really crazy, figure out a way to get a video of yourself pouring so you can watch tape (how I learned that my pour and pitcher sway were too fast).

I think its best to try to keep variation to a minimum while learning - same type of milk, same pitcher, same cup. That said, you certainly can get better just by trying to pour rosettas on every drink... even if its in a to-go that you have to stir and top with whip cream. So I guess my recommendation is that while you are at work, even if you don't do the slow pour for the first portion of the drink, try to get the swaying motion down by practicing on every drink you make and watching how the milk and drink surface responds. Then you can focus on the rest during your practice sessions.

My thought on etching... why not, if you have time. The difference is that with freepour you are able to give them something pretty in no more time than it would otherwise take to make the drink. With etching, you are adding a significant amount of time to their drink... not always appreciated.
Were you planning to cite the idea, or just call it your own?


Jesse -D-> said:
ok this is gonna sound crazy, but it works.

If you don't want to wast milk, drop a drop of dish soap into your pitcher and then fill it to the appropriate level with water. When you steam the soap and water it will act like milk (amazingly close to actual milk) and you can practice with the soap water which is way cheaper than milk. The down side is that you have to really clean the pitcher and dishes to make sure no soap residue is left on them.

crazy I know, but it works.
Didn't get it from here, from a friend but thank you for your sarcastic attack.

Jason Haeger said:
Were you planning to cite the idea, or just call it your own?


Jesse -D-> said:
ok this is gonna sound crazy, but it works.

If you don't want to wast milk, drop a drop of dish soap into your pitcher and then fill it to the appropriate level with water. When you steam the soap and water it will act like milk (amazingly close to actual milk) and you can practice with the soap water which is way cheaper than milk. The down side is that you have to really clean the pitcher and dishes to make sure no soap residue is left on them.

crazy I know, but it works.
Then I apologize. I guess that's what I get for assuming.

That particular video is not unknown, really, so I figured you had seen it as well. Please accept my apologies.

Jesse -D-> said:
Didn't get it from here, from a friend but thank you for your sarcastic attack.

Jason Haeger said:
Were you planning to cite the idea, or just call it your own?


Jesse -D-> said:
ok this is gonna sound crazy, but it works.

If you don't want to wast milk, drop a drop of dish soap into your pitcher and then fill it to the appropriate level with water. When you steam the soap and water it will act like milk (amazingly close to actual milk) and you can practice with the soap water which is way cheaper than milk. The down side is that you have to really clean the pitcher and dishes to make sure no soap residue is left on them.

crazy I know, but it works.
Done. I don't doubt that my friend (erin McCarhy to give credit where it is due) has seen this, or the person that passed it on to her saw it etc. Basically apology accepted, but not much on here is original, so if we all cited where it all came from we'd be wasting a lot of time. I just want to help, I don't care if I get credit for it. My goal in this community is to be able to visit any city anywhee and get good coffee....spread the love.

Jason Haeger said:
Then I apologize. I guess that's what I get for assuming.

That particular video is not unknown, really, so I figured you had seen it as well. Please accept my apologies.

Jesse -D-> said:
Didn't get it from here, from a friend but thank you for your sarcastic attack.

Jason Haeger said:
Were you planning to cite the idea, or just call it your own?


Jesse -D-> said:
ok this is gonna sound crazy, but it works.

If you don't want to wast milk, drop a drop of dish soap into your pitcher and then fill it to the appropriate level with water. When you steam the soap and water it will act like milk (amazingly close to actual milk) and you can practice with the soap water which is way cheaper than milk. The down side is that you have to really clean the pitcher and dishes to make sure no soap residue is left on them.

crazy I know, but it works.
i think that only etching is kind of a cop out... i mean, it's great for accenting something but in my personal opinion kinda lame on its own.

i think that a few tips that can help with latte art are:
* consistent even milk (not over stretched or too much air)
* start your pour farther away from the cup on your initial pour
* remember that when you pour you're not shaking or moving the pitcher, but rather guiding it's contents.

and of course, practice makes perfect. when i first started doing latte art, i would practice in a glass with food coloring (that you way don't waste coffee, and you can still see what you're doing right/wrong).

lastly, i think that it's easier to pour hearts than rosettas...so set big goals, but start small :)

hope that helped.
Jesse D!
Rep Gimme!
Scott Rao seems to be the one to have come up with this technique...but the origin will probably never be known for sure. I prefer real milk to practice with since it is will teach you how it reacts based on it's unique physical make up. Soapy water can serve as a beginning guide but after a couple tries you should use real milk because that is REAL practice. Soapy water does not do the exact same thing as milk although it may look the same.
Knowing the materials as they really are is seen very clearly when the competitors for the Millrock latte art comp experience set backs due to differences in the foreign milk and coffee they are using. If you want to learn fast use the soap for a few beginning tries but then quickly switch to real milk. It may cost more but you'll learn more about what you are supposed to be learning about. The milk.


Jesse -D-> said:
Done. I don't doubt that my friend (erin McCarhy to give credit where it is due) has seen this, or the person that passed it on to her saw it etc. Basically apology accepted, but not much on here is original, so if we all cited where it all came from we'd be wasting a lot of time. I just want to help, I don't care if I get credit for it. My goal in this community is to be able to visit any city anywhee and get good coffee....spread the love.

Jason Haeger said:
Then I apologize. I guess that's what I get for assuming.

That particular video is not unknown, really, so I figured you had seen it as well. Please accept my apologies.

Jesse -D-> said:
Didn't get it from here, from a friend but thank you for your sarcastic attack.

Jason Haeger said:
Were you planning to cite the idea, or just call it your own?


Jesse -D-> said:
ok this is gonna sound crazy, but it works.

If you don't want to wast milk, drop a drop of dish soap into your pitcher and then fill it to the appropriate level with water. When you steam the soap and water it will act like milk (amazingly close to actual milk) and you can practice with the soap water which is way cheaper than milk. The down side is that you have to really clean the pitcher and dishes to make sure no soap residue is left on them.

crazy I know, but it works.
Jason,
I understand why you maybe incensed by lack of credit since you are producing materials yourself...obviously you don't want someone copy and pasting your paper and attaching their name to it, I wouldn't want that either... but citing is more important when blatant plagiarism is taking place. Since this is a digital version of a chat between friends and not a personal dissertation on milk we can all relax a bit and discuss things while giving people the benefit of the doubt. If you want to bring up the originator of an idea then add it to the discussion.
-cd
Like everyone else said, practice, practice, practice. The milk texture is the key, moreso even than the motions. Practice monk's heads, even, just to get that milk texture down, then go for the rosies and posies and other pretty things. I've also found it helps to take photos. Yeah, super geektitude, but when I have time, I record. That way I can solidly look for strengths and weaknesses and progress over time (because I have a brain like a goldfish - I might realize an aspect to be worked on in the moment, then immediately forget.)

That, and you can also show them to strangers on the bus along with your photos of your cats.

Right now, my lattes have been pretty fluffy. I also love how you can sorta tell mood and personality in your latte art. Some days it's rockin, others, it just isn't happening (but I'm sure the masters are past that point.)

As for etching, it looks cool but seems "too easy" I guess? I don't honestly know WHY I don't really like it, because it's not like it's a skill-less endeavor. However, chocolate syrup on a capp kinda grosses me out, even if it IS pretty. Kinda makes me think of a hotel bathroom where the wallpaper is really loud and outrageous in an attempt at being classy.

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